What Will Beggars do in a Cashless Society?

March 18, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Slate has produced a series of articles examining what a society without cash will look like. Will Oremus looked at some of the consequences for beggars:

  • Beggars make a fair amount of money, in the millions of dollars, through people who want to get rid of their loose change.
  • Beggars can make use of mobile phone technologies that allow for the wireless transfer of funds. On the plus side people would be able to give more since they wouldn’t be limited to the change in their pocket. On the other hand people might be willing to give less if they’ll see it as a direct expense in their banking statements.
  • It might also undermine the message of begging if beggars start waving around mobile phones while asking for money.
  • This might lead to a future where beggars are given tangible goods instead of cash.

To read more about the amount of money you can make through begging, how charities such as UNICEF are adjusting to a cash-less society, and Denver’s surprising experiment, click here.

Source: Slate