To understand the future of cash payments and transactions,
we need to understand the importance and prominence of cash throughout history.
Understanding its role and timeline from primitive to modern societies. At the
beginning of humankind before coinage, bartering was used in lieu of money to
purchase goods as people traded with who they trusted, the first record of
bartering was in Egypt. One of the primary forms of bartering included sheep,
vegetables and cattle as man tended to his livestock, to barter with what they had
in surplus for what they were scarce. Barter limits the developments between
trading partners as product values were unequal and the product being offered
was not always desired. Some primitive regions still use this kind of
prehistoric currency to trade. After a while comprehensive financial systems
were set up in ancient civilization that allowed the use of both barter and
money for goods.  In 600BC, the first
known official currency was created by King Alyattes, with a roaring lion
appearing on the coin face. Metals were straightforward to divide, store and
carry but were scarce which made them valuable. Precious metals were recorded
alongside other commodities, with their weightings conveying a variety of
objects can be used for transactions. The standardised coinage resulted in greater
transparency and trade growth across the Mediterranean world. The first paper
money was invented by Chinese merchants in 1290 and was introduced to mainland Europe
by Marco Polo which followed his voyage to China. However, initially paper
money didn’t take off and eventually coins progressed into bank notes around
1661 because their value quickly depreciated and resulted in inflation
skyrocketing (Burn-Callander 2014). Paper money disappeared in China for
centuries then reappeared in Europe where it became common. This implementation
was pivotal for businesses as banks notes were mass supplied shifting from the
heavy reliance on commodities such as gold and silver. Banks and countries
started buying each other’s currencies creating the first currency market and
government or monarch solidarity affected the valuation of their currency and
their power when trading in the expanding international markets. The strong
competition resulted in currency wars as rival countries would purposely drive
down currencies to increase the prices of their enemy’s goods making them too
expensive, reducing their enemy’s purchasing power or by destroying the
currency entirely. To the 19th Century where paper money has become common in
European Countries, with the first credit being issued in 1946 invented by John
Biggins. (Burn-Callander, 2014).

In recent decades there was chip and pin, then contactless,
and now smartphone payments: with these remarkable innovations in payments
technology, it is difficult not to picture a cashless society where cards,
smartphones and other cash alternatives will be used to pay for daily expenses.
Over twenty years ago there was no such thing as internet banking, chip cards
or pay wave. Even something we deem to be simple such as transferring or
withdrawing funds required a physical trip to an ATM or bank branch but now
consumers hold everything in the palms of our hands and it’s all in one place, with
the plethora of new technologies becoming integral to daily life we have the
freedom to pay for goods anywhere.