Go Cashless Go Green: Do Online Payments Guarantee Sustainable Societies?

Regardless of credit cards, online payments and contactless payments have taken over. There is no doubt that cash-dependent purchases still hold a major sector of some businesses. 

Whether we wish to change that narrative for the sake of our convenience is a different question, but the need of the era is to address how paper cash can become a nuisance for our environment if we continue to turn a blind eye to it. 

Here we review how the world has changed regarding payment methods and if we are actually moving towards a more environment-friendly solution. 

Coins to Cash for a Better Environment

Long before we could shop online and complete payment via checking accounts, men only knew about the exchange of coins. 

A large number of coins had to be mined and transported for use. This procedure alone released almost 48,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide over time. Consequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we had to resort to a better alternative quickly. 

Then came cash that seemed to be better for the environment, or so we thought. Polymer banknotes or even the traditional paper ones released a considerable amount of harmful gases. Moreover, cash withdrawals via ATM mean that dramatic amounts of electricity are necessary to maintain systems 24/7. 

These could pollute and exhaust the planet, but there seemed to be no other option to run to for some length of time. 

Slowly Transitioning Into the World of Debit Cards and Credit Cards 

The introduction of card payments is not a guarantee for saving the Earth overnight. However, it does relieve the degenerating environment. That’s because many people can replace paper cash payments with a single card. So, it seems like a solution. 

However, many cards are made of PVC, which does not biodegrade, only adding to the problem of plastic pollution. The production of plastic produces a lot of greenhouse gases creating health complications for humans in the long run. 

As more and more research was done into the role of cards and card payments in creating a safe environment in the future, some additional horrifying things were revealed. 

For example, each card payment is accompanied by a receipt. Contrary to what you may think, card reader receipts are not just paper. They contain toxic chemicals like BPA and BPS, resulting in hormonal imbalance in humans, cause prostate cancer, heart diseases, and compromised blood function. 

Are Online Payments Capable of Providing an Environmentally-Secured Future? 

The future seems to be dominated by online payments and peer-to-peer money transfers using cash apps, PayPal, and mobile payment apps

So, yes, a cashless society is what we must achieve. It’s important if we want to eliminate the damages that other modes of payment can inflict on our environment over time. 

Besides direct transfers of money via mobile banking and apps, QR scanning is yet another amazing option. Businesses can adopt it and promote it in stores and restaurants. 

Scanning for payment is paper-free and does not release any harmful pollutants. It also eliminates receipts that add to waste. 

Take-Home Message 

Every little thing that could contribute to the deteriorating climate situation and poor sustainability of the planet needs to be addressed before it is too late to undo the damage. 

Changes in our payment preferences may seem like a bit of contribution. However, greener methods can help the Earth a lot in the long run. Who knows, maybe they will even help you win more loyal customers?