And it’s off to the match we go . . .

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And it’s off to the match we go . . .

Missing out on seeing people you love to see and doing things you like to do has been unbearable for most people during the pandemic.

For me, it was missing out on going to the match and sharing it with my little lad (he is 36 and 6’ 2”)!

The new football season has started and last weekend was a late kick-off which normally means a trip to town before going on to the game.

The journey, and activities along the way, felt different with the advancement of the use of technology – brought about by the reluctance of handling cash during the pandemic.

The journey started at my son’s house – the taxi (booked on an App) arrived and took us to the local train station – as we got out of the cab I reached into my pocket to pay the driver but my son stopped me and told me he had paid for it on the App. As we walked into the station my son was again on his phone and stopped me going to the ticket office as he booked his ticket and paid for it . . . . on the App.

We arrived in the city centre and went to one of our favourite meeting places where everything was paid for by contactless payment.

Then , it’s off to the match we go – again the taxi was ordered and I was stopped from putting my hand in my pocket again as it was paid for on the App.

We arrive at the ground, the match ticket was already in the Wallet on a smartphone (paid via the website), and entry was by NFC on the smartphone.

Inside the ground there are no cash transactions, payment for a coffee and a pie is via contactless or smartphone.

It was a fantastic match, the result wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but it was great to be back at the match with family and friends.

We then headed home, again without using any cash!

I mentioned to my son that I shouldn’t have bothered withdrawing cash from the bank, as it was all still in my pocket, his response surprised me. He very rarely touches cash anymore and he was expecting not to carry cards for payment much longer as he does everything via his smartphone. And, he added, he had started to avoid situations where he couldn’t pay by App or ApplePay, etc.

This way of doing things may be standard for Millennials and Gen Z but this was the first ‘cashless’ day I had encountered. I knew that the cashless society had advanced during the pandemic, with some forecasting a cashless society within 5 years, but it hadn’t hit me, until last weekend, the extent as to which it had accelerated and was taking over in everyday life.

I then started to think about our customers and how the cashless society may affect them.

The cost of taking card and contactless payments had been too high for many businesses pre-pandemic but there are now many more cost effective services on the market that could create this form of payment adoption by many small businesses.

Traders with a transactional business, street food, artisan bakers, hair dressers, nail bars and specialist/seasonal market stalls may still be making decisions on whether to accept card/contactless payment – it may not be too long before it is a necessity to enable business. And even then, only as a step towards taking payments over an App or Smartphone!

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