We're not that far from toy-buying season, so keep your eyes out for the new cashless Monopoly, which will be available in the UK this year, and next year in other markets. The new game gives players a VISA branded debit card, and includes a card reader that players use to exchange money.
Is cash disappearing completely? Probably not. But cards are here to stay, and are likely to become more and more embedded in behavior at younger and younger ages.
While this may represent just another line extension for Monopoly, Visa deserves some credit for participating as a partner. Talk about product placement for your brand with emerging consumers!
By the way, the official history of Monopoly at the Hasbro site says that inventor Charles Darrow was unable to convince Parker Bros. in the game due to its many "design flaws". After Darrow sold 5000 to a Philadelphia department store and couldn't keep up with demand, Parker Bros. was willing to listen to him. When you think you have something innovative, you have to follow your own judgment sometimes and take some risks, or the naysayers will get you. And they never invented anything, did they?