Hubby mentioned it and my mind went into overdrive.
I wonder how you would react at the thought of………
A Cashless society.
No physical money, at all.
Apparently, there was an experiment to this effect in Manchester (source).
Funny, I don’t remember reading or hearing anything about it.
But then in June 2014 we were house hunting and living in a tent, though we did listen to the radio (and it was Radio 4) in the car sometimes and kept abreast of the news in the supermarkets by reading the headlines.
It’s a sign of the times with all the Plastic everyone carries in their wallet/purse, but a lot of the ‘little shops’ don’t take card payments. This was one of the reasons why people didn’t buy anything in said little shops, because they couldn’t pay with their card.
The Little Guy probably can’t afford the line rental for the card machines, let alone the bank charges for processing each and every card payment. Add the fact that it’s a higher percentage charge to the retailer for Credit Cards (especially the elite Diners and American Express), I don’t blame them for wanting to deal in cash only.
This obviously has a knock on effect though at having to bank physical money either during banking hours which could raise security issues or using a Night Safe Deposit box, again for which there is a bank charge.
The Cheque Guarantee Card was withdrawn in June 2011, so as cheques could no longer be guaranteed up to the value on the card (£50 or £100), shops stopped accepting them in payment for goods shortly thereafter.
Banks charge for processing cheques, usually per item rather than a percentage of the amount banked. If a cheque bounced, the drawer (issuer) was charged for insufficient funds (thus increasing their bank debt for which more charges were applied) and the payee was out of pocket when the unpaid item was debited to their account.
In my High Street banking days (1973-80), unpaid cheque charges to the drawer were 25p per item. Today it’s anything between £20 and £35.
At that time, banks charged 10p per item for clearance of cheques deposited to a business account.
I don’t know how business account charges are applied these days for comparison.
I can accept that people do not like to carry large bundles of cash, and many establishments have a minimum card transaction anyway, unless you are prepared to pay an extra 50p or £1 to cover their banking costs.
Let’s face it, it’s an insult to the retailer to want to use a card to purchase an item for £1, the same as it’s a little extreme to hand over a ten pound note for a 25p stick of chewing gum (I confess I actually did that as I had no other money on me, but I did apologise).
But to be a totally cash free society?
For people like Hubby and I who like to pay cash to hopefully get a discounted deal (usually works) or have a limited amount to last the week, it’s a daunting prospect.
Like everything, there are two sides to the coin (pun intended), but one thing is definitely clear.
Be it Cash or Plastic, either way the Banking World will make a fortune out of the spending and purchasing habits of Joe Public. Money, especially the lack of it, is Big Business.