Chinese shoppers scan great leap over cash payments

Chinese shoppers scan great leap over cash payments, by Rowan Callick.

Tuesday is being spruiked by China’s rampant online finance companies as the country’s first cash-free day.

Discounts, lucky draws and coupons, free bus rides and shares in an 18.888kg gold ingot are being offered to encourage Chinese people to leave their coins and notes — the latter all still featuring Mao Zedong — at home on August 8. …

Most Chinese families never had a fixed-line phone, and now never will. Similarly, most people have never had a credit card. Instead, they are leaping over cards, straight to mobile payments. …

Australia was placed ninth among cashless economies, in a Mastercard survey earlier this year, with people now carrying an average of just $55 in their wallets because of the rapid adoption of pay-wave.

China — the country that ­invented paper money — was 15th in that survey, but has probably ­already overtaken Australia, such is the pace of change, as well as the US. …

Almost half of Chinese people, according to another survey, now carry less than $20 when they leave home daily. Some stores have this year stopped accepting cash, causing the central bank to step in to insist that retailers ­continue to do so.

Won’t it be good when banks and government hold and monitor all our money all the time?