The Abolition Of Cash

Quake42

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There's the beginnings of a movement around abolishing cash for more than very small purchases. It tends to be couched in terms of stopping money laundering/financial crime/terrorism. Various stories being planted in the media, the most recent here:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/08/high-denomination-bank-notes-should-be-scrapped

Governments hate cash transactions - because they can't track spending or control what people are buying. It's harder to enforce tax laws. Most alarmingly, they can wipe out assets with a key stroke - as indeed happened in Cyprus a few years ago when people woke up one morning to find that 10% of their savings had disappeared to fund a bank "bail in".

A number of European countries already have laws limiting large scale cash purchase.

Years ago my Gran always insisted on keeping her savings in cash. We scoffed at her then but it doesn't look so daft now in a world of zero/negative interest rates and massive levels of personal, government and corporate debt.
 

Mythopoeika

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Years ago my Gran always insisted on keeping her savings in cash. We scoffed at her then but it doesn't look so daft now in a world of zero/negative interest rates and massive levels of personal, government and corporate debt.
Your gran was a very wise lady.
 

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Sadly I don't think home insurance usually covers stolen cash, so all it takes to wipe out your savings is one burglar.
 

Mythopoeika

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Sadly I don't think home insurance usually covers stolen cash, so all it takes to wipe out your savings is one burglar.
Floor safe.
 

Analogue Boy

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Is there a credit card with a picture of the queen on it?

I prefer to use cash. I'll even draw out large sums to pay for big purchases and pay cards off in banks. If they start refusing cash, no sale to me.
Hmmmmmm. What's the betting they'll include a nominal transaction fee for every transaction once cash is done away with?
 

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Someone at work had a break in and lost £1200 in cash and £5000 in gold jewelry.
 

Quake42

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Sadly I don't think home insurance usually covers stolen cash, so all it takes to wipe out your savings is one burglar.
Yeah, that was what we always told my Gran. In fairness she seemed to have the money hidden pretty well. She dud eventually agree to a savings account but by then she was in her 70s. Amusingly, she literally bought her council house for cash - turning up at the council offices with 8 grand in a bag.

Is there a credit card with a picture of the queen on it?

I prefer to use cash. I'll even draw out large sums to pay for big purchases and pay cards off in banks. If they start refusing cash, no sale to me.
Hmmmmmm. What's the betting they'll include a nominal transaction fee for every transaction once cash is done away with?
I use cash and cards. Cards are very useful but what I dislike is the idea which has taken root that there's somehow something wrong or suspicious about paying in cash. On principle I don't like the idea of every purchase being recorded potentially to be used against you in the future (what, you bought how much booze/tobacco/cream cakes? No medical treatment for you). For the same reason I won't have a supermarket loyalty card. Privacy is important, and anonymous transactions protect that.

And I have no doubt that transaction fees will appear as soon as cash is abolished.
 

Peripart

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I can envisage a time, not too long from now, when cash transactions above a certain amount (and possibly not a figure which would seem huge to most of us) will be banned, or at least subject to much tighter monitoring than is now the case.

I sort of get the argument for ditching £50 notes, on the basis that they're only used by banks or criminals (insert obvious joke here), and the logical extension of that would be to limit large cash transactions, again to reduce crime. Trouble is, of course, criminals might not take any notice of the new rules...
 

Quake42

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I sort of get the argument for ditching £50 notes, on the basis that they're only used by banks or criminals (insert obvious joke here), and the logical extension of that would be to limit large cash transactions, again to reduce crime. Trouble is, of course, criminals might not take any notice of the new rules...
TBH £50 is a pretty low value top denomination note. 200 euro notes are in circulation (500 euro ones too, though they're rarely seen) and hundred dollar bills are common in the US.
 

rynner2

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On http://forum.forteantimes.com/index...y-apocalypse-thread.51829/page-6#post-1565017

I posted an article on Sunday that said:

What would the world look like if the banks crashed tomorrow?
...

Last year saw the beginnings of the "death of cash", as for the first time, shoppers made more electronic payments than cash payments. The majority of these electronic payments are facilitated by just a handful of institutions, on which the UK public is becoming extraordinarily reliant.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices...e-if-the-banks-crashed-tomorrow-a6859221.html
 

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I sort of get the argument for ditching £50 notes, on the basis that they're only used by banks or criminals (insert obvious joke here), and the logical extension of that would be to limit large cash transactions, again to reduce crime. Trouble is, of course, criminals might not take any notice of the new rules...
So I withdraw £200 quid from the bank in 50 quid notes, go to the post office and pay my road tax. That makes me a criminal?
 

Mythopoeika

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Criminals are already using non-cash ways to trade with each other.
Stolen works of art with a known value, for example.
Cash not required.
 

Ringo

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It seems all my posts are about living in Sweden these days but I see such a difference in outlook depending upon who posts. Here goes anyway. Sweden and Scandinavia are so far ahead of the UK and US when it comes to financial transactions that it's not even funny.

Cheques (or checks) do not exist and have not done since the early '90's I think. You cannot pay cash into the bank anymore except at very select locations. The majority of banks are cashless.

If I pay a bill here, as long as i do it before 14.00 then it gets paid the same day. Otherwise it's the day after. Not of htis 3-5 business days nonsense. I remember laughing at a Bank of America slogan a few years ago. They were so proud to "Handle over X million checks every day". To a Scandinavian, that's like saying "We proudly add it all up on an abacus".

Paying by card is so prevelant and everyday here (even for tiny transactions of £1 or £2) that it is very rare to have cash at all. Supermarkets even give away free plastic tokens to act as coin substitutes when you need to release a trolley as no-one has coins in their pockets.

There are no cash discounts, so there is no benefit to a cash payment anymore. Cash is uninsured so if I have a wad in my pocket and get mugged, then tough shit. Any purchases on my card are insured automatically. I can check my balance, lock my card, cancel it completely, transfer funds domestically and internationally free of charge, pay to businesses and private people, pay bills, buy shares, manage mortage repayments, check interest rates and loads more fvia my free bank app without going anywhere near a bank note, machine or branch.

You get paid electronically, you can pay everywhere electronically (and I mean everywhere: shops, taxi, all restaurants, all bars, even market stalls, sole traders etc), there are no transaction fees and you can even pay to private people via a great mobile app called SWISH. You don't need a card with you or the others persons accont details. You "Swish" the money to their mobile phone number and the transaction happens between your banks. Or if you don't have SWISH then you just transfer the money from your account to theirs via your phone. Why would you have cash? If I want to pay a bill, I press the button on my mobile bank app to pay the bill. If I want to give you money, I transfer it via my bank app or SWISH. It takes me less than 30 seconds and I didn't have to go looking for a cash machine.

The only purpose of cash would be to leave no telling items on your bank statement. So if you're buying drugs or dildos then yes, carry on. However, when you go electronic, you don't get a bank statement through the post. My wife never sees my statement (thus hiding all my nefarious purchases :D).

We often sell small, cheap items via an online community. All the members are local parents with small children, looking for second hand bargains. We sell and buy old child car seats, clothes, toys etc. The prices for these things are betwwen £1-10. The majority of people SWISH the money via mobile phone.

I understand that $100 bills are common in the US. Why? Because there is so much money laundering and crime related cash on the move. The US banking system is 20 years behind European standards, there is no shortage of cahs in hand work and a lot of people can't get a bank account because of the illegal status. £50 notes and indeed 500SEK notes are given a sideways glance for the same reason. The only people with cash in their pockets in Sweden (sweeping generalisation here) are illegals, criminals (or people who want to appear to be criminals), old people who use cash machines instead of their smartphone, people going out who want to look rich by having a wad in their pocket and bartenders/waiters who have earned tips from the people with wads in their pockets.
 

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I think I want to live in Sweden! It sounds like a veritable World of Tomorrow compared to the UK.

That said, we're not too bad here. I don't see cash as a bad thing per se, and we Brits are getting used to a mixture of cash, card and electronic transactions, which seems to function OK. From what you're suggesting, Ringo, we're also quite a bit further up the road from the US, where cash and cheques are still king. Can't remember when I last wrote a cheque...
 
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rynner2

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I think I want to live in Sweden! It sounds like a veritable World of Tomorrow compared to the UK.
I've been banking online for years now. Most of my bills are paid on DD, apart from my credit card, but I pay that online too. I opted out of printed statements, and I've even got a debit card that I can wave at a machine to make small payments. (Must admit I haven't actually used it though.)

My main grocery shopping is paid on my credit card, so I rarely use cash nowadays, but I always carry some for emergencies (like a sudden urge to scoff a pasty!)
 

Peripart

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Trying to avoid the pasty tax by offering cash, are you? :)
 

Cochise

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It seems all my posts are about living in Sweden these days but I see such a difference in outlook depending upon who posts. Here goes anyway. Sweden and Scandinavia are so far ahead of the UK and US when it comes to financial transactions that it's not even funny.

Cheques (or checks) do not exist and have not done since the early '90's I think. You cannot pay cash into the bank anymore except at very select locations. The majority of banks are cashless.

If I pay a bill here, as long as i do it before 14.00 then it gets paid the same day. Otherwise it's the day after. Not of htis 3-5 business days nonsense. I remember laughing at a Bank of America slogan a few years ago. They were so proud to "Handle over X million checks every day". To a Scandinavian, that's like saying "We proudly add it all up on an abacus".

Paying by card is so prevelant and everyday here (even for tiny transactions of £1 or £2) that it is very rare to have cash at all. Supermarkets even give away free plastic tokens to act as coin substitutes when you need to release a trolley as no-one has coins in their pockets.

There are no cash discounts, so there is no benefit to a cash payment anymore. Cash is uninsured so if I have a wad in my pocket and get mugged, then tough shit. Any purchases on my card are insured automatically. I can check my balance, lock my card, cancel it completely, transfer funds domestically and internationally free of charge, pay to businesses and private people, pay bills, buy shares, manage mortage repayments, check interest rates and loads more fvia my free bank app without going anywhere near a bank note, machine or branch.

You get paid electronically, you can pay everywhere electronically (and I mean everywhere: shops, taxi, all restaurants, all bars, even market stalls, sole traders etc), there are no transaction fees and you can even pay to private people via a great mobile app called SWISH. You don't need a card with you or the others persons accont details. You "Swish" the money to their mobile phone number and the transaction happens between your banks. Or if you don't have SWISH then you just transfer the money from your account to theirs via your phone. Why would you have cash? If I want to pay a bill, I press the button on my mobile bank app to pay the bill. If I want to give you money, I transfer it via my bank app or SWISH. It takes me less than 30 seconds and I didn't have to go looking for a cash machine.

The only purpose of cash would be to leave no telling items on your bank statement. So if you're buying drugs or dildos then yes, carry on. However, when you go electronic, you don't get a bank statement through the post. My wife never sees my statement (thus hiding all my nefarious purchases :D).

We often sell small, cheap items via an online community. All the members are local parents with small children, looking for second hand bargains. We sell and buy old child car seats, clothes, toys etc. The prices for these things are betwwen £1-10. The majority of people SWISH the money via mobile phone.

I understand that $100 bills are common in the US. Why? Because there is so much money laundering and crime related cash on the move. The US banking system is 20 years behind European standards, there is no shortage of cahs in hand work and a lot of people can't get a bank account because of the illegal status. £50 notes and indeed 500SEK notes are given a sideways glance for the same reason. The only people with cash in their pockets in Sweden (sweeping generalisation here) are illegals, criminals (or people who want to appear to be criminals), old people who use cash machines instead of their smartphone, people going out who want to look rich by having a wad in their pocket and bartenders/waiters who have earned tips from the people with wads in their pockets.

So you are completely at the mercy of the Government and the banks. And that is progress how? You are exhibiting (no offence) the exact attitude that is being used by the institutions to discredit cash transactions. Most cash transactions , by thousands to one, are not made by criminals, either here or in the US. It is being done to increase profits, not to benefit you or any other consumer.

We have all those things in the UK - not necessarily under the same name - and you can choose whether to use them or not. Bills can be paid instantly (in some cases after 2 hours) at any time of the day or night. You can pay for most other things by instant card transaction. One of the guys who works for me uses his credit cards for purchase and carries no cash. He is unpopular simply because the bank charge the vendor for such services.

But I pay for all casual purchases in cash, as do most of the other UK residents, because we prefer it. It's quick and simple and you don't need to carry a lot of it since there are cash machines all over the place.
 
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Ringo

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Mercy how exactly? Are they going to steal my money? What safe guard is cold hard cash under the mattress?

Cash and currency only hold their value if there is a system of ownership and accountancy behind it's transactions. Otherwise it's just paper. If the banks collapse, and the economy goes into melt down, then paper money will be just as useless as a plastic card. Wheelbarrows of the stuff won't help you if there is a financial meltdown. Everyone can queue up to take out the cash, only to find that there isn't enough physical cash in the world to cover even 50% of what it says in the balances and even them, the cash they hold won't be worth more than toilet paper.

I'm not saying that we should get rid of it, I'm just not sure what benefit there is to having paper money in my pocket anymore.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Mercy how exactly? Are they going to steal my money? What safe guard is cold hard cash under the mattress?

Cash and currency only hold their value if there is a system of ownership and accountancy behind it's transactions. Otherwise it's just paper. If the banks collapse, and the economy goes into melt down, then paper money will be just as useless as a plastic card. Wheelbarrows of the stuff won't help you if there is a financial meltdown. Everyone can queue up to take out the cash, only to find that there isn't enough physical cash in the world to cover even 50% of what it says in the balances and even them, the cash they hold won't be worth more than toilet paper.

I'm not saying that we should get rid of it, I'm just not sure what benefit there is to having paper money in my pocket anymore.
Because if you need to go off the grid for any reason cash, and getting "cash in hand" work makes life easier. Electronic transactions are just another way of tracking you.
 

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Apart from the lack if cheques, I find Sweden to be different than what Ringo says. Though one chain of stores stopped taking cash, shoe stores I think.
 

Quake42

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So you are completely at the mercy of the Government and the banks. And that is progress how? You are exhibiting (no offence) the exact attitude that is being used by the institutions to discredit cash transactions. Most cash transactions , by thousands to one, are not made by criminals, either here or in the US. It is being done to increase profits, not to benefit you or any other consumer.
And of course you may wake up one morning to find the government has taken 20% of your savings overnight, to pay for a bank bail in for example. That's what happened to people in Cyprus, who were of course immediately subject to smears about how they were all money launderers anyway so it didn't matter.
 

Ringo

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Because if you need to go off the grid for any reason cash, and getting "cash in hand" work makes life easier. Electronic transactions are just another way of tracking you.
Well, a cash in hand is of course possible and you can choose to live off the grid if you want to but I agree that you would have a hard time living off the grid in Sweden (what with our personal number system).

Apart from the lack if cheques, I find Sweden to be different than what Ringo says. Though one chain of stores stopped taking cash, shoe stores I think.
Interesting. What do you find different?
 

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Because if you need to go off the grid for any reason cash, and getting "cash in hand" work makes life easier. Electronic transactions are just another way of tracking you.
I always knew, that you are paranoid?
I'm not saying that you're not correct, of course.
 

Mythopoeika

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I still use cash and cheques.
Occasionally, I give members of my family money (or they give me money), so cheques and cash come in handy.
I've also had to use cheques to pay tradesmen, such as my plumber and (more recently) the man who replaced my windscreen. None of these guys are set up for electronic transactions or cards.
 
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