Ben Milne is CEO of Iowa-based payments company Dwolla and he barely carries cash anymore.
Dwolla works by charging a simple $US0.25 fee for sending money to someone. Transfers under $US10 are free.
“I reached into my pocket the other day and felt crumpled paper in there,” he said during a panel at Money2020 in Las Vegas. “I thought I had absentmindedly put my burrito wrapper from lunch in there, but it was actually some dollar bills.”
Milne’s point is simply that the Internet has carried so much of our analogue world into the digital age that the physical currency in his pocket felt foreign and unrecognizable.
“Our world is already virtual, we just don’t realise it yet,” he said. “If all you have is an Internet connection, you can’t send money around the world very easily, but it’s no problem to send someone a picture of Miley Cyrus. What we’re doing — easy Internet payments — is an inevitability. We may not be the people to do it, though I’m working my arse off to make sure we are.”