Did you know that Turkey (the state) plans to move to mobile money (abandoning cash completely) by year 2025?

You didn’t?

Well me neither. But this guy who seems to call himself expert on mobile money has totally different view:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Now this is typical Tomi stats. Of course it’s not true, there are two errors in here.


First of all the date. Assuming Tomi is right – which he is not – Turkey should be in quite a hurry if they plan to have cashless society in 10 years. (That is unless they plan to quit “cold turkey”. 🙂 )
Let’s play with some scenarios:

  • How am I going to give my 5-year old her weekly coin to spend? (No, she does not have a cell phone)
  • How about that beggar on the street? (No cell phone either)
  • How do boy scouts gather money from door to door? (People opening the door may not have cell phone)
  • Tourists? Are they forced to have a cell phone with some service pre-installed? Will foreign cash be accepted (negating the entire plan)?
  • Flea markets and garage sales, anyone?
  • And most of all: What the hell do I do after my phone (with my SIM card) is stolen? How do I even buy a new one?!?

Finding a solution for all that by year 2025 is a HUGE task. Enormous. It HAS TO grab the global news attention so much you all have heard about the progress by now.

You STILL haven’t?

Well, the hurry is not that bad as Turkey has not made a statement they would quit using cash after year 2025.
They have not.
And not even then.

But Tomi insists on this so what gives?
The original news (around year 2010 I think) was that Turkey plans to stop printing cash by year 2025. After that the existing cash reserves would be sufficient to be replaced over time with credit cards, debit cards and so forth. The natural wear-out time of paper money would eat away the cash. Tomi has the meaning of the year 2025 “slightly wrong” here. 😉
On to the second point:


Yes, as a second error: At no point has the official announcement from Turkey included a complete move to mobile money. Not by 2025, and not by any date in the distant future either. The whole thing is about getting rid of the cash and move all transaction to data flow on computers. That of course could just as well be mobile money, and a lot of it will be mobile money, but mobile has never been the point.
Not ever.
And not even then either.

So the story Tomi is spreading appears to be quite different from where the reality stands. But of course reality is not the story that sells. The story that sells is the “Turkey will end cash and move to mobile money by year 2025″…
…which unfortunately has never been true at all.


My apologies for the regular readers: you know I usually hand a link to the actual news article (as opposed to Tomi-spiced version). In this case it is a bit difficult as there simply are no news statement of any kind saying “no we don’t plan to move to mobile money by 2025” – how could there be? As a very basic case of Russell’s teapot it is Tomi who should be able to hand a link to the Turkey official statement saying what he claims. There is no way for me (or anyone else) to find the counter-statement when the original is missing already!

What comes to ending the printing of cash, I remember seeing the headline in a printed paper years ago but I can’t find any link by Google and I haven’t heard of the topic at all for five years. I couldn’t find any official “Turkey plans to stop printing cash” announcements either and I am starting to doubt if the plan has already been discarded during last 4 years!
But I do want to hand out at least something, so I’ll give you the closest thing I could find: It is the news at textually.org [6] which quotes (no longer existing) article of the Irish Times where the year 2025 date is mentioned once in one sentence as a side note of a mobile payment related news – mentioning that the government plan is not placed on mobile but mobile will “fit nicely into the government’s plan”.

It’s frustrating that I can’t hand out any better source but on the other hand if this is all the existing news about the issue and Tomi four years later says Turkey is moving to mobile money by year 2025…
Does he still do that?

Countries such as Sweden and Turkey are in the rush to end cash as they see the power of mobile payments.

–Tomi Ahonen, July 28, 2014 [7]

Turkey was the first country to set the target date to end the manufacturing of cash. Coins were invented in Turkey and cash has powered the global economy 3,000 years. We will be the first humans alive to live in a post-cash economy and its powered by mobile.

–Tomi Ahonen, January 12, 2015 [8]
–Tomi Ahonen, January 22, 2016 [9]

several countries are in a race to eliminate cash in our lifetimes – replaced – not by Bitcoins, not b Apple Pay, not by Paypal – but replaced by mobile money. As I wrote on this blog years ago Turkey was the first country to throw its hat into that ring.

–Tomi Ahonen, February 17, 2017 [10]

Yes he does still do that – and he manages to get quite a lot out of it.
(To be fair, in the third last quote he actually got the meaning of the date right. 😉 )


[1] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/138791371640283137

[2] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/179061886099275777

[3] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/185778323547365377

[4] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/249301247742574593

[5] http://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/254369762648399873

[6] http://www.textually.org/textually/archives/2011/11/029799.htm

[7] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/07/as-we-shift-from-hunters-in-mobile-industry-to-farmers-most-of-the-cool-stuff-is-done-and-dusted.html

[8] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2015/01/grand-convergence-means-grand-competition.html

[9] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/690529748405977088

[10] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2017/02/the-facts-based-survey-of-mobile-money-globally-focusing-on-the-reality-and-numbers-ignores-totally-.html