The 2021 McKinsey Global Payments Report examines one of the most momentous and challenging periods in modern history.
As a bellwether of the pandemic’s economic impact, one piece of data is particularly striking. Cash payments declined by 16 percent globally in 2020. And while some of the behaviours contributing to that huge fall are specific to COVID-19, there can be little doubt the ongoing trend will be towards ever greater adoption of cashless payments.
As a provider of cashless payroll solutions, through our virtual banking platform dopay for business, we might be expected to be pleased by this development. In fact, we were even more interested in the Report’s discussion of the evolving nature of payments themselves since the 1980s.
Back then, as the authors put it:
‘We defined payments as the various instruments, networks, access and delivery mechanisms, and processes facilitating the exchange of value between buyers and sellers of goods and services. But this notion of payments as a discrete experience is gradually disappearing’.
This view resonates strongly with us at dopay. Why? Because we also believe that the idea of ‘payments as a discrete experience’ is giving way to a much more holistic approach.
As a specific example, the B2B2C chain that we support begins with the businesses, of all sizes, that sign up to our platform.
It continues with those businesses moving to a cashless payroll solution that allows them to pay all employees electronically and instantly with prepaid dopay cards, irrespective of how much they earn. And it continues with the experience of the employees themselves.
For small and medium business owners in particular, the range of advantages go far beyond simply ‘moving money’.
These include the ability to pay wages whenever they want and not to be limited by formal banking hours. There is also the potential to build a stronger employer brand – a reputation as a regular and reliable payer plays a big role in retaining current staff and attracting new recruits.
For employees too, there are significant ‘beyond payments’ benefits to ‘going cashless’. They can withdraw their wages via ATM and whenever they need to.
In societies where physical cash often brings access issues, especially at weekends and during extended holiday periods when banks are shut, this is real convenience.
And being able to make electronic payments in stores creates a whole new level of experience. Each dopay card user progresses from customer to consumer, able to access products, services, discounts, and other incentives previously unavailable to them.
We live in a world where cash payments are in ongoing decline. Those who continue to be paid in cash will remain outside the realms of possibilities that cash-free wages payments open up for them – including the chance to build a financial profile and a credit history.
Increasingly, that will be a real obstacle to a fulfilling financial life.
For millions of people who still live and work with physical money only, cash free will indeed mean cash freedom.
Read the full report here.