Is this the death of cash? 現金消亡的時代是否會到來

154

數百年來,硬幣和鈔票一直是人類進行商品交易的主要方式。在英國,自借記卡和信用卡被發明以來,現金的使用已不如以往那樣普遍。2017 年,使用現金交易的金額的總數低於借記卡支付的交易金額。這難道意味著我們離現金時代的消亡不遠了?借記卡會變成未來唯一的交易方式嗎?所有人都認可這種交易方式嗎?《隨身英語》帶你展望無現金社會的種種可能。

Vocabulary: money 詞彙: 金錢

Cash is king, or so they say. In one form or another, human beings have been carrying around money for hundreds of years. Metal was first coined into cash between 700 and 600 BC by the Lydians, and banknotes have been in circulation since their first use in China around 1000 AD. These days, though, habits have changed. Modern technology means that while money is still widely used, it’s more likely to be a digital transaction than a wad of notes and a handful of shrapnel. If cash is king, then it may eventually be dethroned.

In the UK, the use of tangible currency is in decline. In 2017, the banking trade body UK Finance reported a 15% fall in the use of ready money. Since their first use, debit card payments have given cash a run for its money. Last year, for the first time ever, the use of debit cards and contactless payments became the most popular way to stump up. In fact, if trends continue, the use of cold hard cash, would end by 2026, says the report.

For businesses, the smart money is on not taking cash. By doing so, they are in the money. For example, the Boot pub in Freston opened last year as a cashless pub. In a BBC article, its owner Mike Keen lists several advantages, including a quicker speed of service, lower insurance premiums since no cash is kept on site, and a saving in time as he needn’t cash up each day nor make a deposit in the bank several times each week.

However, eight million people in the UK still need cash, according to the Access to Cash Review, an independent body measuring the need for cash in the UK. Those living in rural areas with poor internet connectivity and people who have physical or mental health issues are among those that find it difficult to use digital services. In addition, many service providers, such as window cleaners, are still paid cash in hand. Not to mention, budgeting, which is easier with cash since “you know what you’ve got,” interviewee Kev Jackson told the BBC.

Is cash dead? Not yet it would seem, though as more technological solutions to payment, such as smart watches, become commonplace, its use is likely to decline more. What’s important is, the report concludes, to put in place infrastructure to ensure that those who still need to pay the good, old-fashioned way can get their money’s worth.

詞彙表

cash is king 現金為王,現金至上
coin 鑄造(貨幣)
cash 現金
banknote 鈔票
in circulation (貨幣)在流通
transaction 交易
wad of notes 一沓鈔票
shrapnel 零錢
currency 貨幣
ready money 現款、現金
give something a run for its money 給…帶來競爭
contactless payment 非接觸式支付
stump up (不情願的)掏腰包,付錢
cold hard cash 「硬噹噹的」 現金
the smart money is on 內行認為…
in the money 賺大錢
cashless 不用現金的
cash up 清點、結算賬目
make a deposit (往銀行賬戶裡)存款
cash in hand 現金支付在手
budgeting 計算開支
get your money’s worth 把錢花得物有所值

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How long has humanity been using coins as currency?

2. True or false? Paying by cash is more popular than ever before.

3. Why are businesses and retailers turning to a cashless system?

4. Why is budgeting with cash easier?

5. Which word in the text means ‘happening or being seen often’?

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. He tried to pay me £15 in ______! I told him I didn’t want that great big pile of metal.

notes                     coined                           shrapnel                    deposit

2. I’ve got a weekend job for you. It’s ______ so you get paid by the day.

cash in hand         the smart money            budgeting                  contactless payment

3. Right, I bought the last three meals. This time you are paying, so ______.

cash up                 pucker up                      stump up                   clench up

4. I don’t know where they are, but the ______ is on them being on holiday.

ready money         old hard cash                 deposit                      smart money

5. Look who just bought a new sports car! I guess you got your bonus! Someone’s ______!

cash in hand          in the money                 budgeting giving         a run for their money

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How long has humanity been using coins as currency?
Metal was first coined into cash between 700 and 600BC by the Lydians.

2. True or false? Paying by cash is more popular than ever before.
False. In 2017, the banking trade body UK Finance reported a 15% fall in the use of cash.

3. Why are businesses and retailers turning to a cashless system?
By not taking cash, businesses would be at an advantage.

4. Why is budgeting with cash easier?
Budgeting with cash is easier because you know what you’ve got.

5. Which word in the text means ‘happening or being seen often’?
Commonplace. (Not yet it would seem, though as more technological solutions to payment become commonplace, its use is likely to decline more.)

2.  請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. He tried to pay me £15 in shrapnel! I told him I didn’t want that great big pile of metal.

2. I’ve got a weekend job for you. It’s cash in hand so you get paid by the day.

3. Right, I bought the last three meals. This time you are paying, so stump up.

4. I don’t know where they are, but the smart money is on them being on holiday.

5. Look who just bought a new sports car! I guess you got your bonus! Someone’s in the money!