According to tech expert consultants, in less than 25 years, we may not be carrying cash with us at all. Digital currency is on the rise—and not just credit and debit cards, either. Digital wallets and mobile payments are becoming more and more common, even for smaller purchases, and a survey of more than 1,900 people indicates that lowered concerns about online payments and digital technology are contributing to the decline of cash transactions.
The survey, which was conducted by IEEE Transmitter—a global technical professional organization that aims to advance technology for the greater good—asked folks who are “actively engaged in technology trends” about their comfort level with various digital services and cybersecurity. More than 1,900 people responded to the online survey between February 16 and 29.
Respondents were asked when they thought mobile and digital payments would be ubiquitous enough that traditional payment methods would be obsolete, and the general response suggested a huge shift would occur by 2030. Seventy percent of respondents believed that by 2030 most people would be using mobile payments to pay for purchases, using an electronic device such as a smartphone.
The future is cloudy
When asked about different information storage methods, people said the digital storage they trust the least is the “cloud.” Twenty-six percent of participants said it was their least-trusted storage method.
Concerns about security are warning
In the past, surveys have indicated that folks are worried about the security of online payments. However, judging by this survey, those concerns are beginning to die down. When asked if they are worried about the security of their work or personal email accounts, for example, people seemed equally unconcerned about the security of both. The survey’s authors found this surprising, since people’s work email is usually protected by an IT department, while their personal email is not. But people seemed not to mind either way, feeling that their information was relatively safe whether it was on an employer’s server or their own home network.
But this does not mean people should be lax about security when it comes to mobile payments, digital wallets, and other online matters. IEEE security lead Diogo Monica said “now more than ever, cybersecurity is a necessary safeguard to our digital lives, which hosts a variety of our private and personal information.” Monica said people need to “take the necessary precautions to protect our digital footprint.”
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