What is currently stopping the most developed states from completely abandoning cash?



Some areas have no reliable electricity. You need electricity to run CC transactions.
Some areas have no reliable telecom infrastructure. You need a telecom connection to the bank for CC reader to function even if you are blessed enough with 24x7 electricity.
You need to have a bank you'd trust (preferably local). If you have an issue with CC and can't pay, and nearest bank help for your card is 100 miles away (and/or a call center 3 countries over), you'll be extremely happy you have cash.
You need to have a population that trusts credit cards.

Planet Money recently did some podcasts on banking in 3rd world - many people simply do not trust banks or electronic cash. Especially older people. Just because the grandson runs around with Wenmo payments, grandparent may not be quite comfortable with that.
There are privacy concerns over electronic payments, absent ubiquitous block-chain based e-cash.

Many people of different political persuasion do NOT agree with the concept of the government and/or large companies tracking 100% of their purchases. In some cases these are general privacy concerns. In some, they are life and death (imagine the government of Iran being able to know you spent X amount of money on gay literature/videos).
Electronic transactions are not free.

You pay extra transaction fee - usually, expressed by a merchant upping the cost of goods (e.g. in US, many gas stations give you discount on gas if you pay cash).
Credit cards are prone to criminal abuse. Identity theft. Plain out CC # theft. If you pay cash that's not a risk.
As a comment noted, some people with bad credit wouldn't be able to be approved for credit or even debit cards, especially without predatory interest/fees.
Credit cards aren't guaranteed to work.

I personally had it happen twice last year where a reader flat out refused to read my card. If I had no second card or cash, I'm unable to pay.

And this is a simple card failure. Add on:

reader failure
system failure at retailer
power failure at retailer
telecom failure between retailer and bank
Data integrity issue at the bank (a bug shows your card as expired, or rejects transaction)
Bank rejects transaction because they suspect fraud (the detection algorithm failed on a real transaction). I had that happen often.
You are at the credit limit and need to buy over that limit. (and have enough cash).
You have AmEx and vendor only supports MasterCard. FAIL.
There are more failure modes, I'm sure.
What is currently stopping the most developed states from completely abandoning cash? What is currently stopping the most developed states from completely abandoning cash? Reviewed by Hamza Bashir Ahmad on 00:04:00 Rating: 5