How Our Modern Financial Landscape is Changing
Once upon a time, the only way to pay in a shop would be through a line of credit or with cash in hand. The world we live in now is completely different and it can actually be quite surprising to imagine paying with a cheque or something we used to use a lot. How is our modern financial landscape changing and what does this mean? Let’s take a look.
Fewer and fewer places are accepting cash. It might not seem like it but they are out there. Mobile banking and credit cards are on the rise and it won’t be long before people simply aren’t carrying cash in the same way that they used to.
The rise of payment apps like Apple Pay has been some of the final straws in this scheme. Whereas you once had to remember your purse every time you went out with the intention of buying something, you now just have to make sure that you have your phone with a bit of charge in it. It is that easy.
While we are just getting used to the idea of contactless and cardless payment in the West, Asia is lightyears ahead. China’s WeChat app has completely revolutionised the way they do business. Even food vendors on the street will rarely have the capacity to hand back change in cash. Instead, you are more likely to see people lining up to scan the QR code beside the vendor as they collect their food. This is the way the payments work and it has massively sped up the way the Chinese do business. Something similar in the USA or Europe would shift our markets quite a bit. Currently, in the United States, a debate is being had on the constitutionality of not accepting cash. Afterall, the US dollar, upon which the world’s financial system is now based on, says right on the bill, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.”
Cashback Credit Cards
Nowadays, people want something for their money. Whether it is a rewards scheme which allows them to save up Airmiles for their dream holiday or cashback on any of their spends, people are interested in credit cards which do something for them.
The most interesting of these by far is the cashback card. These are simple enough; you use the card in a transaction and you will earn part of that transaction back as a small percentage. It might take a while to build up enough money to treat yourself but the scheme is in place and you are already earning more than someone who is not doing it. If you are on the hunt for an easy way to earn money while you spend it, you should definitely look into cashback credit cards.
You could even use the cashback card as a way to save up for a small treat. Put yourself in the mindset that you will reach for this card first when making your purchases like gas and groceries. It won’t be long before you have built up a nice pile of cash to claim back and you can treat yourself to something fun.
Cryptocurrency on the Rise
Since its debut in 2009, cryptocurrency has changed the way we send money online. While many people are happy to stay away from cryptocurrency, it can nevertheless offer some extremely interesting benefits to those who do want to use it.
Most people are familiar with the name of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, though there are several you could invest in. Cryptocurrency exchanges are some of the safest and most secure undertaken on the internet and are also the best value for those involved.
Whereas two people in different countries would have to contend with currency exchange fee and potential transaction fees if they were to trade normally, there is no need for this with cryptocurrencies. The transaction operates on a peer-to-peer basis which means there is no intermediary third person or bank for the payments to be routed through. The money is simply transferred digitally. Cryptocurrency also puts the control of the payments in the hands of the customer instead of the broker; a feature many like as it allows them to hide some of their personal information online. With privacy on the internet being one of the biggest issues and discussions we currently face, this is a feature of cryptocurrency many are interested in.
Many online retailers currently do not accept cryptocurrency but we can expect that to change in the coming years. It is simply too useful a resource for people to ignore.
If you wanted an investment portfolio even twenty years ago, you would either have to try to work out the markets yourself or you would have to pay a financial advisor to find the best deals for you. However, the introduction of smartphones and the rise of apps has taken that control over investments and given it back to us.
Even a complete newbie can get online and start trading in stocks and bonds thanks to several different programs available online. They offer complete support and the promise to find you the best investment opportunities possible, be it through automated processes or human searches. You can use these to just earn yourself a little extra money or you can save for something big like your retirement. No matter what you are searching for, whether you want to pour money in or just add your spare change, you have the capabilities to do so.
So long as you accept that investments can go wrong and there is no guaranteed return, you cannot go wrong. Take a look at some of the investment opportunities available to you out there today.
What Will the Future Bring?
There is no doubt about it, our financial landscape is changing. The invention of the smartphone has taken much of the control away from bankers and placed it back in our hands. If we are to keep up with how the financial market is changing, it is time we started educating ourselves about key issues like cryptocurrencies and investments. It is going to be extremely interesting to see what further changes to our finances come our way in the future.