Money has been a part of our society for thousands of years, and before that we used a barter system to obtain things that we want and need. Now we are approaching a new chapter in the history of money, because cash is on the way out.
It wasn’t that long ago that cash was the status quo. Our society has created many solutions and objects that are adapted for cash. Piggybanks, wallets and cash points, to name a few. It has been easier to teach children about the value of money with cash, since it’s easy to understand that an ice cream cone costs £2 when you hand over two coins.
There is a negative side to cash as well. Our society pays a lot of money to handle cash, we need to send armoured cash transport vans back and forth, which takes a lot of time and has a negative impact on our environment. Cash becomes very dirty when a lot of people handle it. And speaking of dirty money, cash makes it easier for criminals to “launder” money.
A digital world
Today it’s not as popular to use coins and notes to pay when you get to the register. A recent study showed that in Sweden almost ⅓ of the subjects have shopped in a store that doesn’t accept cash, a trend that is spreading to the rest of Europe.
This means that our money has moved online, and now it’s computers that keep track of how much money we have. The coins and notes in your purse have been exchanged for bank cards and numbers on a screen.
In a world of digital money, we need digital tools to learn how to use them - like Gimi!
The history of money
Before we started thinking about money going digital, we were thinking about ways that we could use physical objects to represent money.
Imagine if money didn't exist and you had to trade for a snack instead of buying it with pounds. You'd have to find out what the store owner wanted, like gasoline for their car or a new jacket, then find a way to trade for those items as well. Our money serves as a replacement so that nobody has to trade for what they want. In the UK, our currency is the pound sterling (£).
The use of money dates back thousands of years. About 3,000 years ago, China developed the use of miniature metals as a system of trade. At first, they created small symbols out of bronze, a mix of copper and tin metal. For instance, you could trade a bronze symbol of a shovel for a real shovel. Eventually, their symbols became circles, creating the first coins.
Check out this video to learn more about the history of money, from the beginning until now!
Since we are in a transitional period, cash is still around but not the primary method that we use. A lot of parents only visit their local ATM when it’s time to give their children their weekly or monthly pocket money! This isn’t ideal for either parents or children. That’s why Gimi exists, so families can keep track of pocket money in their app and children can get used to digital money.
Parents transfer symbolic amounts to their child’s app, so parents can see how much they owe their child. Chilrdren can add a dream to their app to keep track of how much and how long they need to save to reach their drean. Maybe a new bicycle?