Future Of Money

Money makes the world go ‘round, there’s no denying it. It’s fundamental to modern life, whether for having a place to live, buying food, or purchasing goods and services. While we may not often think about it, how we use money today is vastly different from how we did millennia, centuries, or just decades ago.

Today’s concept of money began with our ancestors bartering and directly trading items and services as a medium of exchange. Then, it was around 640 BCE in China (to the best of our knowledge) that the first physical coin was minted. The transition was eventually made to paper currency, which still exists today alongside various digital currencies and payment systems.

It’s clear that how we use and relate to money evolves dramatically over time. In a world increasingly driven by technology, it’s a fair question to wonder what the future of money holds and how to best adapt to it. While we’re not fortune tellers here at Stax, here are our top four predictions on what the global economy and society’s relationship to money could look like in the near future.


  • Some of our top payment predictions include the rise of cashless societies, the growth of crypto, and the continued adoption of digital currencies. 
  • Many of these are already taking place all around of the world.
  • Fintech businesses that refuse to keep up and stay abreast of the latest developments—whether it’s cashless payments or digital banking—will run the risk of becoming irrelevant and no longer profitable.

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1. Many Societies Will Become Cashless

This prediction is one that’s already coming true in parts of the world, with countries like the Netherlands ushering in the end of cash. The country has seen a sharp increase in cashless payments in the past years (in part because of the pandemic).

Industry data shows that not only 85% of debit or credit card payments were contactless in 2020, but physical cash withdrawals also dropped by over a third compared to 2019. The same can be seen in many other countries across Europe, such as Norway, the U.K., and Sweden—the latter of which actually encourages cashless payments from a legal perspective.

While the same level of adoption hasn’t reached the U.S., digital payment methods and financial technologies such as NFC contactless payments are on the rise. In fact, data shows that slightly over half of Americans use at least one form of contactless payments, such as contactless credit cards or mobile wallets like Google Pay. With benefits including increased convenience, fewer business risks, and ease of international payments, it quickly becomes clear why there’s been a change in consumer behavior.

That said, it’s also up to businesses to keep up with changes in customer preferences. As our Chief Payment Officer Menda Sims noted when speaking to Payments Next, “As customers change the ways they shop and pay, merchants will have to offer a wider range of alternative payment methods that not only offer consumers options at checkout but also reduce their cost of acceptance.” 

So whether it’s Mastercard offering biometric payment cards or Amazon allowing customers to pay with Venmo, companies will have to adapt to a future that’ll be increasingly cashless.

2. Cryptocurrency Will Become More Mainstream

Whether you use it or not, the chances are high that you’ve heard of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Essentially, cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies based on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger shared on peer-to-peer networks.

Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are popular in large part due to the possibility of decentralization. This means the currencies aren’t issued by a central authority (like the Federal Reserve or European Central Bank), so they can exist outside of government interference or control. Another advantage is that there’s no single point of failure, and it’s generally cheaper and faster to conduct cross-border, real time transfers.

That said, there are some disadvantages to it. It’s known for high price volatility and lack of financial stability, and has required government regulation and enforcements due to fraudulent players pulling off stablecoin and crypto scams, and attempting money laundering.

Despite that, cryptocurrency and initiatives like NFTs have begun to enter the mainstream. Platforms like PayPal allow users to transfer and receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Goldman Sachs was the U.S.’s first major bank to trade an OTC crypto transaction, and the Super Bowl 2022 played a significant role in introducing society to fintech companies promoting cryptocurrency. Internationally, we’ve seen countries like El Salvador make cryptocurrency legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar. But what could more day-to-day use cases look like?

Our Chief Payment Officer Menda Sim speculated on the topic of cryptocurrency with Fintechly, saying, “Primarily cash-based businesses like [those in the marijuana industry] could see growth by opening up the space to crypto payments. Security has been one of the major concerns with crypto; with technology firms building stronger solutions to secure all forms of digital payments; this opens up the possibilities for further enabling commerce.”

It’s clear that cryptocurrency will play a role in how we interact with and use money—but to what extent still remains to be seen.

3. Governments Will Offer a Central Bank Digital Currency

Due to the rise in interest in cryptocurrency in recent years, countries have turned their eyes towards other new technologies around how we use money, such as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Many countries’ policymakers have begun to develop and even implement CBDCs, in part as a safer alternative to cryptocurrency.

Essentially, a CBDC is a digital form of fiat currency, such as the European Central Bank’s digital euro project. For most countries, a CBDC is not intended to replace fiat currency but rather to complement it. These currencies would be regulated by a governmental or monetary figure—providing financial regulation—and would be pegged to the fiat currency’s value. Theoretically, this reduces some of the inherent risks of cryptocurrency due to its decentralization and volatility.

A CBDC also would help provide financial inclusion for unbanked members of society and would directly connect consumers to central banks. Not only would this help bring down infrastructure and transaction costs, it would also decrease the likelihood of third-party risks such as bank failures.

Given all these benefits, it’s highly likely we’ll see CBDCs become more prominent in the near future. In fact, data shows that 86% of central banks are actively researching the potential of CBDCs. Within Europe, the European Central Bank is already exploring what a digital euro would like; in China, consumers can pay for mass transit rides using digital yuan. While CBDCs are still in their very early days and many kinks still need to be ironed out, digital money will likely play a significant role in money’s future.

4. Money Management Will Become Increasingly or Fully Digital

Our final prediction is one we can already see taking place throughout society today. Within the last few decades, we’ve seen an increase in digital financial services such as online banking. However, their full potential remains unrealized.

Recently, there’s been a rise of neobanks (or virtual or digital banks). These financial institutions are disrupting the traditional banking industry, eschewing endless paperwork, long queues in brick-and-mortar locations, and costly fees. They’re primarily or exclusively online-only, like Chime and Varo Bank in the U.S. or N26 in the U.K.

Neobanks aim to offer the same services as traditional banks, such as checking or savings accounts and credit cards. However, most of them still offer slimmed-down services in comparison to traditional banks (limited or no credit, no mortgages or loans, etc.) As neobanks continue to grow exponentially, we will likely see them expand on their value proposition and become the first choice for more consumers.

We’ll also see an increase in digital money management and growth methods, like robo-advisors and AI investing. These technologies have significantly lower barriers of entry, and allow consumers to better manage and grow their money without the costly fees of traditional investment advisors. In short, it’s extremely probable that we’ll soon see a dramatic paradigm shift towards a digital-first money management mindset.

Wrapping Up

While we may not know exactly how the future will play out, one thing is certain: how we use money will constantly continue to evolve. Fintech businesses that refuse to keep up and stay abreast of the latest developments—whether it’s cashless payments or digital banking—will run the risk of becoming irrelevant and no longer profitable.

But that doesn’t have to be the case: by staying up-to-date with where society is heading in its relationship to money, brands and eCommerce merchants will be able to remain successful and grow sustainably in the long run.

Stax is the leading all-in-one payment processing platform that helps you grow your business—your way. We offer state-of-the-art functionalities, industry-leading APIs and security, and transparent pricing. Contact us today to learn more.

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Q: What is the future of money?

The future of money is expected to be heavily influenced by technology. Predictions include the rise of cashless societies, the growth of cryptocurrencies, the continued adoption of digital currencies, and the potential offering of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by governments.

Q: What does it mean when a society becomes cashless?

A cashless society refers to a state where financial transactions are not conducted with physical banknotes or coins, but rather through digital means such as electronic transfer, card payments, and mobile wallets. Countries like the Netherlands are leading the way towards this future.

Q: How is cryptocurrency expected to change the future of money?

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are expected to become more mainstream as they offer advantages such as decentralization, no single point of failure, and cheaper and faster cross-border transfers. Despite challenges like price volatility and regulatory issues, their use is increasing globally.

Q: What is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

A CBDC is a digital form of fiat currency regulated by a government or monetary authority. Unlike cryptocurrencies, it is not decentralized and its value is pegged to the fiat currency, offering more financial stability. CBDCs can provide financial inclusion for unbanked members of society and decrease the likelihood of third-party risks.

Q: How will money management change in the future?

Money management is expected to become increasingly digital. Neobanks, or digital banks, are disrupting traditional banking with online-only operations. Additionally, digital money management methods like robo-advisors and AI investing are becoming more popular due to their lower barriers of entry and cost-effectiveness.

Q: What is the role of fintech businesses in the future of money?

Fintech businesses play a crucial role in shaping the future of money. They need to stay abreast of developments like cashless payments, digital banking, and cryptocurrencies to remain relevant and profitable. By understanding and adapting to changing consumer behaviors, these businesses can sustain growth in the long run.

Q: How will the adoption of digital currencies impact eCommerce?

The adoption of digital currencies can enhance eCommerce by offering consumers a wider range of payment options, reducing costs, and enabling easier cross-border transactions. As consumers’ shopping and payment methods evolve, merchants need to provide alternative payment options that meet these changing needs.

Q: What is the potential impact of cryptocurrencies and CBDCs on governmental monetary policies?

The rise of cryptocurrencies and CBDCs presents new challenges for governmental monetary policies. Cryptocurrencies operate outside of government control, while CBDCs would be regulated by governmental or monetary authorities. Their impact on monetary policy will depend on their adoption rate and how governments choose to regulate them.

Q: What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of a cashless society?

A cashless society can offer increased convenience, reduced business risks, and ease of international payments. However, it can also pose challenges such as privacy concerns, technological issues, and exclusion of those without access to digital payment methods.

Q: What industries could potentially benefit from the increased adoption of cryptocurrencies?

Industries that are primarily cash-based could benefit from the introduction of crypto payments, provided the security concerns associated with cryptocurrencies can be addressed. The use of crypto can open up new possibilities for commerce by enabling secure digital payments.