Not that long ago contactless payment was introduced in my country; it's fast, and still safe as larger amounts still require a PIN. However, a few days ago, I was kind of shocked. I wanted to go to the toilet in one of the train stations, and to my amazement, I could go in by just holding my card next to entrance gate of the bathroom, which took 0.70EUR of my card.
I thought it was kind of cool, I told my (old) dad that I expected that within 20 years cash would be old-fashioned and that contactless payment would be the new way to go; to pay for WiFi at an airport, to enter a building/area of some kind etc.
But I also imagined that in low populated areas, it could be used to turn on streetlights for a short time for example. Or how it could be used to heat your hotelroom for a short amount of time, or to have access to X liters of water at a public tap. Or to have your garbage collected. I thought the idea of micro paying for thse kind of things was quite cool and that it's good for the environment.
Until my dad told me: "It's all fun and games, until there are people who have no money on their cards. They can't go anywhere, they can't use anything. They are hopeless." Which reminded me of the movie "In Time" which suddenly made me quite skeptic about the whole idea of contactless payment.
So the question is, will our society turn into a micropayment society? And if it does, what are the consequences for poor people?