There have been various predictions about the imminence of the cashless society, which we learn this week could be upon us in a decade.

It is true that more and more of us use plastic regularly and carry less cash than we used to, but to remove cash completely from all our financial transactions has the potential to cause chaos.

Like most technology, digitalising financial transactions and using the World Wide Web to do so works wonderfully – when it works. Throw a small spanner, or indeed a major hack into the process and the whole pay us ex machina could spectacularly bring day to day life to a grinding halt.

If you go into a bank to draw out fifty pounds, you will meet a human being there who will be able to give it to you and who is unlikely (at present) to tell you that his or her cash drawer won’t open any more due to Russian woodworm.

But we have all, at some time, been on the end of an internet or phone connection to a service provider whose systems were ‘down’ and the transaction could not therefore take place.

At which moment you and the gazillion other frustrated customers start to frantically search for an actual telephone number which connects you to an actual person whose language you share and who can help rather than simply apologise and if there is anything else they can do for you.

If money becomes completely digital, the ungodly and the greedy will set about to deprive us of it and frustrate any effort to recover it.

Millions of elderly, rural and technologically deprived folk would suffer. Those who through illness or advanced age are unable to travel far (or at all) and rely on third parties to shop for them would do what? Give their card and its pin to them with all the attendant risk of fraud and abuse.

Of the 5-plus millions of us that do not use the internet, more than half live in rural areas that do not have adequate internet access anyway and are already suffering from the closure of smaller banks and removal of ATMs.

And I do not wish all those data hungry companies to know every detail about my purchases and bombard me with advertising and spam.

Nor do I want to use a debit card to buy my Bucks Free Press.