When you made your last purchase, did you use cash? It seems like a simple question, but the more you think about it, paper money has become less necessary for many of today's consumers. While plastic already has its place, other systems like mobile devices and bitcoin are starting to take their piece of the pie.

A recent article from Point of Sale News asks the question, how close are we to cashless commerce? Some would argue that the tools are already here and it is only a matter of time before cash becomes unnecessary.

According to the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project the year could be 2020. Their research shows that 65 percent of technology experts and stakeholders believe consumers will embrace smartphone swiping and purchases, which will all but eliminate the need for cash and even credit cards.

The project's website does say that putting a hard capped year on when this could happen is just a guess. Smart-swiping will be the future of money but experts are split on how quickly this will happen.

"In elaborating on their predictions, a number of respondents indicated that they expect this process to develop generationally, with younger users jumping to abandon cash and credit cards while their parents and grandparents may make the move to mobile payments slowly, if at all," the projects website reads.

The payment industry is changing and organizations need to be ready for it. Having the right credit card payment software could soon be replaced with the need for cloud-based solutions and a mobile reader. Merchants that partner with an experienced payment solution provider will be able to stay ahead of the competition.