Forums General Chitchat Cashless society
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  • #1401
    Springer
    10 Posts

    I think this is a great article and I pretty much agree with all of it https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/19/cashless-society-con-big-finance-banks-closing-atms

  • #1402
    Irk
    9 Posts

    I got as far as the bit where he fundamentally misunderstands “nudge.”

    What’s wrong with making payment more convenient? A contactless card is the same as having an infinite amount of cash in your wallet, and faster.

    • #1403
      Harvey
      8 Posts

      A contactless card is the same as having an infinite amount of cash in your wallet, and faster.

      If by infinite you mean £30 at a time and bounded by your account limit then yes…

    • #1407
      Irk
      9 Posts

      Really? Is that so? It’s linked to my account? Who knew?

    • #1408
      Springer
      10 Posts

      It works well enough but it will a great improvement when it’s linked to Jeff Bezos account instead.

    • #1409
      Smithers
      3 Posts

      You can always use chip and PIN for a higher amount.

    • #1410
      Harvey
      8 Posts

      You can always use chip and PIN for a higher amount.

      @smithers Now you’ve said that, I’m wracking my brains to figure out why I associate “cashless” with “contactless”. I think it’s because that was the step that got me to abandon cash where possible for small transactions. But I was wrong to jump to it as mandatory! Mind you, try getting an otherwise fully functional bank card without it…

    • #1411
      Springer
      10 Posts

      @harvey Cash is ours, the peoples, well kind of. Cashless hands everything over to the banks. We seem to be putting a huge amount of trust in a group of people, who time and time again prove they cannot be trusted.

    • #1412
      Dave b
      5 Posts

      You may think its stretching nudge, but the other points are that a wholly cashless society creates a system that marginalizes a number of people further and is prone to catastrophic failure, as all complex IT systems are prone to. as we saw a few months ago, when you lose one payment mechanism that is centralized, people end up without. Maybe not a problem for you, but it will be for some. It is much harder to have backup funds for when cards fail, the transfer of funds between individuals rather than corporate bodies becomes more challenging etc. It also affects organizations, where they have no mobile signal so, can’t take cashless.

    • #1414
      Raff
      8 Posts

      and is prone to catastrophic failure, as all complex IT systems are prone to

      I don’t have all my money as fivers stuffed under a mattress. I only ever have about £100 in cash. The rest is held in those IT systems.

      Cashless seems to me to be about two things:

      1) the cost to businesses of handling cash*

      2) the ability to data mine your purchases by connecting you and your purchases.

      * anyone else noticed the recent trend in self checkouts spewing out a stream of shrapnel in change so the shop doesn’t have to deal with it, rather than giving sensible coins? This is policy, not coincidence.

    • #1416
      Dave b
      5 Posts

      @raff If to have 100 cash you’re doing a lot better than most. I suspect that being able to buy a couple of days food for a family is kind of the safety net we’d need.? £25-30… And half a tank of fuel.. (not sure about the number of cigarettes, and sunglasses optional)

      We seem to have a story every couple of years about bank X having system problems sufficient to cause problems. There are many banks, and I can get around this to some extent by having two bank accounts. Some people have limited choices as to which banks they can be with.

      Payment systems are more problematic, as effectively there are only two Visa and MasterCard. Even with their planned multi redundancy, there was still a point of failure that occurred.

      Cash, being tangible has very little opportunity for complete failure.

    • #1417
      Raff
      8 Posts

      @dave-b I never said otherwise. But then I’ve worked hard all my life, and lived frugally.
      My point was that a bank account is virtual cash, subject to IT failures. Anyone who has a bank account, rather than keeping all their assets liquid, is vulnerable to this potential problem. So, whether you use cash or purely electronic payment, you are vulnerable.

      IT failures can cause inability to shop with any payment means; supermarket systems can fail, and they have no fallback. Not infrequent news stories.

  • #1404
    Harvey
    8 Posts

    I have a lot more problems with highstreet banks (expensive/fragile legacy IT, seeing customers as mugs to be monetised every way possible, shite customer service) than I do cashless which is very convenient and a big step towards me going out by default without my wallet.

    The article is founded on nonsense though – there is no shortage of cash machines out there, and bansk closing does not equate to no free cash machines.

  • #1405
    neb
    5 Posts

    As someone who essentially lives in a cashless society, I can’t help but disagree.

    To put this into perspective, my bank (a small local branch) is 1000 km away from where I live, so I’m certainly not going to be visiting any time soon. I do however have full access to all of the bank’s services through my phone or computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Furthermore, if I were to use cash in any shop of any size the cashier would have a fit, look at me like I have a square head, then start to sweat when they realize they have to do some basic arithmetic.

    Coming back to the UK and having to figure out how much cash I need for a few beers at the pub and then having to remember where the atm’s are, or not being able to use card at small shops, or not being able to pay with card without a minimum spend is literally like stepping back into the dark ages. The cashless concept has streamlined the everyday financial transactions that we face and I think for the better.

    I can agree, however, with the financial security of having access to hard money, but I think for the most part the fear (although justified to some extent) is largely overblown.

    • #1406
      sel
      3 Posts

      Here in Germany, cash is nearly always the only option outside of larger hotels and franchise-supermarkets. When I moved here, in 2015, I found that to be a bit awkward. I have grown to love the cash-based lifestyle.

      The differences in restaurant culture alone are more than worth the perceived inconvenience of carrying real money: split bills are the norm rather than the exception, the waitress will often take a seat at your table to chat while handling everyone’s payments and, while one does sometimes end up with a “Milchmädchenrechnung,” the whole experience is generally more social and more friendly.

      Convenience and efficiency are far too overrated. The pace of modern life is already too fast!

    • #1415
      robbie
      5 Posts

      Where are these places in the UK where you need to pay cash for beer, aren’t able to use a card in small shops or need a minimum spend?

      Maybe a minimum spend on credit cards in some places, but I’ve not seen a minimum spend on a debit card transaction for several years. Similarly, I’ve not been in a pub or a small shop for some years that doesn’t take cards. I live in Kent, but spend a lot of my working/ leisure time in semi-rural Devon and Dorset, and visit villages and small towns in Scotland and Wales regularly, and I just don’t recognize the picture you’re painting here!

  • #1413
    ayme
    6 Posts

    I like cashless options and use contactless, chip and pin or phone payments for the vast majority of my purchases now. For me, it is very convenient and I don’t miss carrying around a purse full of loose change or having to buy something unwanted with a note so that I can pay for parking. Maybe the banks do have an agenda, although I suspect that article is overstating it, but for once it seems to be something that is making my life easier rather than harder.

    Large parts of Africa have been cashless for years. In areas where there is a mobile phone infrastructure but people living in rural areas have to make a round trip of several hours to get to the bank and risk being mugged as they withdraw their cash for a month, a cashless economy makes much more sense.

    For whoever was talking about splitting bills, in the US it is common to split the bill for card payments. You just ask the wait staff when you order and they keep track. I don’t know why that isn’t common here, seems like a social thing rather than a practical thing.

    The only thing that has become a bit more difficult is contributing to office collections for people leaving/ill etc. I also miss the roughly £5 a week that I used to collect from my other half leaving small change randomly scattered around the house…although I suspect the change benefits him

  • #1418
    Mikeisright
    5 Posts

    I only tried contactless about 18 months ago and I am Deffinatly a convert. I was my draw £100 out and that was my spending money until it ran out then get another £100 out. The problem is as soon as I break a note its gone and the change doesn’t seem to hang about either. I go on to a shop with cash and for some reason I buy crap I don’t want or need. Having gone contactless my money goes a lot further. I am basing this on the amount of money I have left at the end of the month compared to when I drew cash out. I do typically have £50 in my wallet though just in case.

  • #1419
    Bob
    5 Posts

    Don’t carry cash much at all now, but sometimes I think I should keep a couple of notes in my wallet. Took a new employee out for lunch on Wednesday, and felt like a real tool not being able to leave a tip for the (great) service. Paid by card, and there was no tip option, and I’m not convinced anyway it gets to the individual who served you. Guess I’ll have to go back in next week and leave a double tip.

  • #1420
    Glenn
    3 Posts

    I use my card a lot and all medium sized purchases I make with it. However i always carry cash with me as a back up and for those occasions when I need it. For instance cash only drinks machines at work, places where the card machine has brokendown/ not yet been installed, pubs, giving to beggars, tipping waiters, buying small items and the odd out of the way place where they have prices in pounds shillings and pence.

  • #1421
    Ash
    1 Posts

    I rarely use cash these days, in fact, the only place I really use it now is in the pub because it’s marginally quicker with them not having to get the card reader out.

    I do have some worries about things going fully cashless though. If in the future, they totally phased out cash and everyone just had a card, which I think is not an unreasonable prediction in our lifetime. Then it would mean the whole money system being taken out of the hands of the bank of England and given solely to card companies like VISA etc.

    I’m normally one for privatisation but I think the money supply should be run by the state, maybe we’d all just have default government debit card accepted everywhere then could apply for VISA or Mastercard’s etc if we wished.

    • #1422
      Norman
      6 Posts

      I rarely use cash these days, in fact, the only place I really use it now is in the pub because it’s marginally quicker with them not having to get the card reader out.

      Increasing numbers of pubs have them fixed to the bar, which makes them much easier.

      I do have some worries about things going fully cashless though. If in the future, they totally phased out cash and everyone just had a card, which I think is not an unreasonable prediction in our lifetime. Then it would mean the whole money system being taken out of the hands of the bank of England and given solely to card companies like VISA etc.

      Not really, the Government can and should regulate providers and provide guarantees like the FSCS to ensure consumers are properly looked after.

      I’m not sure we need a Government provider, between Visa, MasterCard and AmEx provision is adequate in my mind (and if you’re concerned about downtime, have one of each). Downtime has mostly been within the banks’ internal systems so if you have a card from more than one bank (or perhaps a backup prepaid card with 50 quid on it) you’re pretty safe generally.

    • #1423
      john2
      2 Posts

      The real worry about going cashless is what the result of a determined cyberterrorist attack would be.

    • #1424
      David
      3 Posts

      Or a widespread power cut that kills access to all electronic payment systems in that area.

    • #1425
      Clare
      9 Posts

      Fortunately all this, while major events, are frankly rare to non-existent. And redundancy solutions increasingly reliable.

      We perhaps forget the degree to which a lack of ATMs used to impact us prior to cashless, the frequency of lost wallets and money, and the drip-drip of losses due to inefficiencies of cash.

      Monzo and Starling have been mentioned. Still in their infancy these two banks offer levels cashless service and support a generation ahead of traditional mobile and cashless banking. They should really be the benchmark by which this is judged.

    • #1426
      JGC
      15 Posts

      @clare I’d argue there are better out there, vipps in Norway, swish in sweden. You keep your normal bank, the mobile payment system is supported by every bank in that country. You can pay mobile to mobile, or mobile to account.. and you never have hand over your account details or know the other person. The apps are free and support by the national bankID system. So you can decide where you are how you pay; deferred and invoiced, chip&pin, contactless or mobile. All of the same bank account.

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