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Fortune Favors the Bold: The Cashless Society

March 15, 2018 Financial No Comments Email Email

Can you imagine a world without the tooth fairy?

A proponent of a cashless society, I still think there is something sweet and naïve about tucking one or two dollars under your child’s pillow each time they lose a tooth.  My youngest child is already 12 years old so you’d think I’d be well past this ritual. But that’s where you’re wrong. My son is a bit of a “late bloomer” and just lost a tooth last week. He’s not the only one though. I have a 14 week old puppy who is also losing teeth daily! So I’m still knee-deep in this rite of passage. Which is good because I’m not really ready to give up my role as the tooth fairy.

But based on what I heard at last week’s recording of our final episode of Fortune Favors the Bold, I may very well have to move on from this cash-based tradition sooner than I thought. The event, which drew a standing-room-only crowd at The Green Space in downtown New York City, posed the question: A Cashless Society — Are You Ready? And in a world without cash, as one panelist suggested, perhaps I should be tucking a prepaid card under my child’s pillow to celebrate lost teeth in the future. Wait…am I ready for that kind of cashless society?

At the live recording, host Ashley C. Ford spoke with a diverse panel of experts including David Baga, Chief Business Officer of Lyft; Rebecca Mantey, Associate Director of the International Rescue Committee; and Ravi Chaturvedi Associate Director of Research at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Their conversation touched on how the IRC is using digital payments to help refugees in war torn countries, offering a form of dignity as well as help for rebuilding their lives. And in an unexpected twist, we heard how Lyft partners with the IRC by offering a special web application that allows IRC to hail Lyft cars for refugee clients to get to the grocery store or a job interview.

But what really blew my mind was learning how far along some countries are in converting cash into digital payments. Would you believe that in China the panhandlers carry QR codes to solicit handouts?

But I don’t want to give it all away. We edited the recording down to just the best parts and that’s what you’ll hear on episode 6 — The Cashless Society. So take a listen and let us know if you’re convinced that cashless is the future of money.

Thank you to all of our fans for tuning in to Fortune Favors the Bold wherever you get your podcasts. We encourage you to leave a comment on Apple Podcasts or Google Play to let us know what you think and what you’d want to see in Season Two!

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