The Abolition Of Cash

EnolaGaia

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Genuine question - would tinfoil do the same job? (I've just replaced my purse and if a bit of my hat lining would do the same job, it would save me having to replace it again.)
Aluminum foil can be used, but it's not as effective as a dedicated RFID blocker / material.

You can buy packs of individual RFID blocker sleeves, each of which holds 1 card. This is an effective way to shield individual cards in a legacy (i.e., non-RFID-blocking) purse or wallet.
 
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Xanatic*

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Wearing full plate armour will also help.
 

Bullseye

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I always carry enough cash in my wallet just for incidents like the recent visa crash.
I always carry some cash,£20 or so, even when just out for a walk,going fishing,whatever. Just for emergencies,call it Twat Tax, did'nt invent the name some comedian did,can't remember who.Twat Tax is any unforseen expenditure that could have been prevented, fine,late payment charge, breakdown etc. A Twat Tax rebate is when you find £20 note in your pocket you'd forgotten about or any other unexpected windfall.Over the years I've had many disputes with various banks and have managed to get Twat Tax rebates from them !.
I deal mainly in cash and tend to use debit and credit cards just enough to keep my credit rating high. I find that many larger shops don't like you buying expensive goods by cash, quite a few have lost sales to me because of this. When banks stop taking cash in this country I'll be hopefully retired as all my takings are in cash (taxi driver), I have no intention of getting card reader. You can always tell people from big cities, "Do you take cards?," "Nope", "Oh ok I think I've got enough cash, the postcode is...", "Don't need a postcode Madam just the house number and street, we're very backward here".
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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Neither does my wife and I....we rarely use any electronic systems that shuffle money around.....we do have credit cards of course ...but don't bank online or use smart phone apps like those. We mostly use cash when possible.
My 2 daughters think we are living in the stone age. LOL...
Ah but you and your wife will be the ones laughing when the electronic systems crash (again) and you can still buy stuff with your trusty cash. :D
 

Dr_Baltar

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Those of us who do use electronic methods of payment have exactly the same access to cash as everyone else, so I fail to see where the advantage is.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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There was a discussion about 'going cashless' on ABC Radio Sydney the other day. It was on when we got in from work so....I think it was the afternoon show there, but I don't know the DJ name. Anyway, he had people calling into the show to discuss how 'cashless' they were; the whole tone was very much pro-cashless.

And this isn't the first time I've heard this on that radio - different show (the breakfast show I think) several weeks ago when they were discussing all the evils of cash (money laundering, drugs, and the like) and - well maybe this is a bit of hyperbole - but the impression I got was that attempting to pay for something in cash should be seen as suspicious.

Can anyone from there (lucky devils :) ) tell me - is Australia very much anti-cash? Or am I just getting misleading information from this particular radio station?
 

EnolaGaia

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I don't think the bias you're sensing is limited to Australia.

The whole cashless thing has been progressively growing for decades as a sort of lifestyle motif that emphasizes convenient purchasing at the point of sale. The convenience cited today for non-contact card readers, etc., is of the same general form as what was touted for credit cards when they became a big deal 50 - 60 years ago.
 

dr wu

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I'm not against electronic banking or credit cards....the problem is the more you put your SSN ,credit card numbers,and bank numbers out there in the 'cloud'...the easier and better odds for someone to steal that info.
 

Mythopoeika

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I'm not against electronic banking or credit cards....the problem is the more you put your SSN ,credit card numbers,and bank numbers out there in the 'cloud'...the easier and better odds for someone to steal that info.
Exactly so.
 

James_H

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I mentioned wechat pay in China. It has not yet really taken off in Hong Kong, but I did forget to mention about octopus cards. An octopus card is more or less exactly the same thing as an Oyster card in London (though it predates oyster cards) with the important difference that most shops and restaurants also accept it - it's not limited to transport. Therefore, if you keep it topped up, there's not much point in keeping a lot of cash around because you can use it to buy more or less anything.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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Didn't know one could say "interesting" and "The Guardian" in the same sentence without "not" in-between :D

But it is interesting indeed, and sounds worryingly plausible...
There is a feedback loop going on here. In closing down their branches, or withdrawing their cash machines, they make it harder for me to use those services. I am much more likely to “choose” a digital option if the banks deliberately make it harder for me to choose a non-digital option.

We noticed recently that the bank in our village has closed (we don't bank with them so we've never been in it ourselves, but we use the ATM sometimes) and there is now a 'helpful' poster affixed to the window informing us all that the bank is still available online.

But, that's not much use when the majority of people who used that bank are elderly people who probably don't have (or want) internet access, is it.

Gaaah this just makes me even more determined to use cash.
 

Mythopoeika

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Use cash to defy the banks and preserve jobs!
 

Mikefule

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I'm not so sure it's a conspiracy in the sense of "organised, coordinated and covert attempt to achieve something" but there is definitely a community of interest between the banks, retailers, and government in respect of a move to a cashless society. The banks get to save costs, the retailers save costs and online and impulse purchases become easier, and the government saves the cost of producing coins and banknotes as well as finding that all monetary transactions are now traceable for tax purposes.

However, experience has shown that ordinary people can be pretty resourceful when riled. There are already informal local currencies and credit/barter schemes springing up around the UK so that low level transactions stay off grid and untraceable.

In a manner similar to derivative trading, things that only exist in theory will be traded between members of the community: promises, vouchers, credits, pints... and the harder it becomes to get official currency, the more de facto unofficial currency will spring up.
 

Andy X

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...but there might well be a coordinated attempt to achieve the objective of tracking our movements and habits and generally using our data for multifarious purposes, some of which are arguably not that exploitative. Maybe.

In any case, if that's cunningly designed to look like something else then I'd call that a conspiracy.

I was involved in trying to set up a local currency years ago, but we didn't get far as there wasn't enough support. Yet times have changed and someone seems to be trying it again...as you say, some towns have done this very succesfully. We definitely are seeing a lot more bartering round these parts and community organisations which aren't officially economically active exchanging goods and services on an informal basis. Some seem to view this as hippy / hipsterish / 'Good Life' / Hugh Fearnley-W whimsy, but it works and I think it's great. After all, this is the kind of thing that's always gone on in more rural areas: help me mend my fences and I'll give you a few hens or some firewood...job done!
 
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Andy X

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My bank has recently downsized to smaller premises as the town council seems to have been bribed had the 'vision going forward' to demolish an entire block of perfectly sound and stylistically appropriately buildings to 'revitalise the town centre', thereby causing many businesses to close and leaving an economic vacuum at the heart of the community for a good two years, after which this friendly shopping street will be replaced by a ghastly towering Premier Inn with a Starbucks (another one). Fortunately they'd already forced many small business owners out by raising rents and business rates to stratospheric levels. But that's another issue (or is it?)

There's a noticeable difference in the new-look bank: on joining the queue in order to speak to a human you'll be interrogated as to your intentions by beaming, smartly-dressed ladies who seem to appear from nowhere. If you're trying to pay in cash or cheques you will be physically bustled towards the new machines...even if you've told them they're not working.

Admittedly when the machines do work they're quick and convenient(ish) but they (the Stepford wives) seem to get weirdly irritable if you insist on being quite happy waiting - even if there are only three people in the queue.
 

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Admittedly when the machines do work they're quick and convenient(ish) but they (the Stepford wives) seem to get weirdly irritable if you insist on being quite happy waiting - even if there are only three people in the queue.
Just like supermarket checkout cashiers who tell you "You could have used the self-service machines instead of queuing for a human operated checkout".

But

- I want to use a human operated checkout because it is easier and I do not have to spend ages waiting when an item fails to scan.
-You do realise you are trying to do yourself out of a job!
 

Andy X

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I'd say they're only doing as they're told but they can be unbelievably pushy (or pully, to be precise).

Not so long ago I found myself in Tesco queueing behind an old friend who I don't see that often. A 'store colleague' or whatever had been hovering in my personal space and, unbidden, grabbed me by the elbow and tried to shunt me out of the queue mid-conversation - indicating a vacant checkout about thirty yards away. We were quite audibly discussing the condition of a mutual friend who was dying.

On refusing the 'offer' I was rewarded with used to be called an 'old-fashioned look'
.
 

Cavynaut

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I'd say they're only doing as they're told but they can be unbelievably pushy (or pully, to be precise).

Not so long ago I found myself in Tesco queueing behind an old friend who I don't see that often. A 'store colleague' or whatever had been hovering in my personal space and, unbidden, grabbed me by the elbow and tried to shunt me out of the queue mid-conversation - indicating a vacant checkout about thirty yards away. We were quite audibly discussing the condition of a mutual friend who was dying.

On refusing the 'offer' I was rewarded with used to be called an 'old-fashioned look'
.
Yeah, probably just trying to be helpful.
Plus, the worker would most likely have got a bollocking had a manager noticed that a queue was building up and no attempt had been made to reduce it.

I find it funny that contactless payment gets pushed as being quicker. What do people do with the few seconds that they save?
 

RaM

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The bank in our village was the one in the tv add for Nat West, it was when they had the slogan "we will not close the last branch in town" then they closed it, we move to the branch in the next town and they closed that so we moved banks though I bet they don't have long with us even though it is very busy, they seem to going out of there way to make a visit to the bank a long and boring experience and forever pushing on line banking, likely the banks now have so many online members they can afford to loose those that don't want to do it.
Think of the massive savings less staff and buildings to support, and no need to cart money about via armored car,
lilly massive tax savings ie less carbon foot print and so on lots of things you would not think off.
 

SkepticalX

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Non-cash transactions do have the advantage of accuracy. Here in the US, we have a whole generation of young people who find it difficult to "make change" so, in any given cash transaction, there's a 50-50 chance that either business or customer is losing money. Also, a business with little or no cash on hand is a less attractive target to some punk with a handgun.

On the downside, you can paint a pretty comprehensive picture of a person based on their electronic purchases. Advanced data analytics can detect patterns in your buying habits that perhaps you yourself don't realize - and it is a given this information will be used to control and manipulate you.

On a somewhat related note, it used to be standard practice that banks paid 4-5 percent interest on savings accounts. What's more, they were guarded by Federal law - your money was guaranteed safe. Now, interest payouts are some fraction of 1%. The net effect is that people have been forced into higher-risk investments like mutual funds (even bonds have risk). A significant market crash would obliterate trillions of dollars in assets and destroy the finances of countless millions of people.

Maybe this change in banking practices is just a natural reaction to an evolving marketplace. But I can't help but wonder whether an unscrupulous government sees it as a quick and devastating way to impoverish its populace, making us easier to victimize.
 

Mythopoeika

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My bank has recently downsized to smaller premises as the town council seems to have been bribed had the 'vision going forward' to demolish an entire block of perfectly sound and stylistically appropriately buildings to 'revitalise the town centre', thereby causing many businesses to close and leaving an economic vacuum at the heart of the community for a good two years, after which this friendly shopping street will be replaced by a ghastly towering Premier Inn with a Starbucks (another one). Fortunately they'd already forced many small business owners out by raising rents and business rates to stratospheric levels. But that's another issue (or is it?)

There's a noticeable difference in the new-look bank: on joining the queue in order to speak to a human you'll be interrogated as to your intentions by beaming, smartly-dressed ladies who seem to appear from nowhere. If you're trying to pay in cash or cheques you will be physically bustled towards the new machines...even if you've told them they're not working.

Admittedly when the machines do work they're quick and convenient(ish) but they (the Stepford wives) seem to get weirdly irritable if you insist on being quite happy waiting - even if there are only three people in the queue.
That town sounds like Bracknell! They turfed out all the retailers and demolished the town centre, replacing it with something more expensive-looking. Then they bumped up the rents as retailers moved back in.

And the bank machine incident - happened to me as you described. I protested, saying I was trying to save jobs by using the queue and not the machines. It was like she was deaf or couldn't understand.
 

Mythopoeika

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Think of the massive savings less staff and buildings to support, and no need to cart money about via armored car, lilly massive tax savings ie less carbon foot print and so on lots of things you would not think off.
That's what it's all about.
That, and the huge bonuses the people at the top undeservedly receive for 'improving margins' and 'reducing costs'.
 

Andy X

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That town sounds like Bracknell! They turfed out all the retailers and demolished the town centre, replacing it with something more expensive-looking. Then they bumped up the rents as retailers moved back in.

And the bank machine incident - happened to me as you described. I protested, saying I was trying to save jobs by using the queue and not the machines. It was like she was deaf or couldn't understand.
One of the more disgraceful episodes of this town planning stitch-up was when counsellors were apparently swayed by some Ping* type PR bird from the developers who insisted that "google searches for a Premier Inn in the town have increased by 800% in the last six months". Really? Gosh, what an extraordinary coincidence! How can that have happened? :rolleyes:

Sorry to hear about Bracknell - I have fond memories of it...I never go, obviously, but fond memories... ;)

I'm trying to remember which famous person comes from there - Tanita Tikaram?

(one for the teenagers there)

* see Ed Reardon's Week, BBC R4

As for the bank thing, what is most annoying is the chirpily patronising way in which they speak to you: shall we pop over to the machine? Just pop your card in...pop your number in...are you ready to pop your cheques in? I'm neither very young or very old (not that such people should be condescended to) and I don't generally wear a soiled bobble hat, so why they talk to me like I'm Benny from Crossroads I've no idea.
 
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