GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 127
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Nowadays plastic money replacements such as credit and debit cards are extremely popular, even more than banknotes and coins. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Model Answer 1:
Credit and debit cards, which are primarily used as replacements of plastic money or banknotes, have become an indispensable part of our day-to-day life, and in many cases, are more popular than conventional currency. While these cards have many advantages, their negative aspects should not be ignored.
For a start, using these cards confers advantages over cash. The obvious advantage of plastic money replacements is that it obviates the need to carry hard cash. Cards have not only provided users with convenience, it has also saved them the inconvenience of carrying standard banknotes. For example, when a working executive’s job involves frequent inter-state travel she or he has to entail considerable expenses such as food, accommodation, travel, and so on. In such a situation not only is it burdensome to carry cash, but it also poses a risk of theft. In addition, cards facilitate online transactions or paying from home. Put simply, it paves the way for making online payments, transfer of funds, and several other transactions in just a few clicks.
Credit and debit cards, however, have some drawbacks. One of the major hindrances of credit cards is a high-interest liability. While it is true that credit cards give cardholders ample time to pay for purchases made through it, high-interest is charged if they fail to pay on the lapse of a period. Besides, impulsive purchases are commonplace owing to having the ease to make payments. Moreover, when people make an online purchase through credit cards, there is a certain amount of risk involved as they share their bank details on the internet which is not always a safe place. There are certain malicious websites to steal financial information and loot money thereby.
To recapitulate, plastic cards confer both advantage and disadvantage. It is therefore very important to be cautious while using them.
Model Answer 2:
Debit and credit cards have become extensively popular among people, even more than the standard money. While plastic money replacements have pushed back the frontiers of convenience, they also have some setbacks that one should be cautious about.
People enjoy considerable advantages of having plastic cards. One evident benefit is that it provides people with a convenient and secure way to make financial transactions without carrying much cash. Moreover, with debit cards, people have access to their money anytime, anywhere, even when they travel abroad. For instance, most of my family members never carry much cash and we just put our card into a slot and get our required money. It is much easier than traditional banking. Furthermore, with bank cards, people can make online payments, transfer funds, and do shopping, which in turn, promote the growth of e-commerce. The growth of e-commerce increases cost-effectiveness and alternative ways to stimulate economic development.
On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to using these plastic cards. First, it is vulnerable to fraud. To clarify, in the case of stolen debit or credit cards, the thief or hacker can use it to get the information so as to clone the bank cards using stolen information, which in turn incur a substantial financial loss to the owner. My uncle once lost his credit card during a tour, but he was not aware of it. Later he discovered that £ 2,200 worth of purchases had been made with his credit card when he checked his bank account. Another shortcoming of plastic money is the development of impulsive purchasing habit. In simple words, having the ease to make payment entices overspending. A recent study shows that consumers spend 10%-12% more when they use a credit card instead of cash.
To conclude, like most other technology, digital credit and debit cards have both merits and demerits. It goes without saying that these cards are of great help, but everyone should understand that it is not the case always. Therefore, we ought to be wise when using it.