Origins of the Modern Concept of a Cashless Society, 1950s–1970s

  • Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
  • Thomas Haigh
  • David L. Stearns


In this chapter we focus on the emergence of the idea of a “cashless/checkless society” in the 1960s as an example of how futuristic visions often drive new applications long before their economic viability is established. Variants of the “cashless/checkless society” vision appear throughout the developed world during the second half of the twentieth century, but for the sake of clarity and brevity, we will discuss the form it took in the United States from 1950s through the 1970s. As a result we illustrate how consensus that can drive actual technological developments is a key feature of how applications of information technology have been responsible for the increase in productivity of business organizations during the late twentieth century.


Credit Card Science Fiction Social Entrepreneur Fast Food Restaurant Electronic Payment 
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Further Reading

  1. Bátiz-Lazo, B., Haigh, T., & Stearns, D. (2012, March 29). Visions of a cashless society. Accessed 22 Apr 2015.
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  6. Maurer, B. (2015). How would you like to pay? How technology is changing the future of money. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
    • 1
  • Thomas Haigh
    • 2
    • 3
  • David L. Stearns
    • 4
  1. 1.Bangor UniversityBangorUK
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Siegen UniversitySiegenGermany
  4. 4.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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