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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Beware the Cashless Economy

I keep reading newspaper articles telling me that the Cashless Economy is about to arrive. But this is really commercial advertising disguised as news. Beware.

Credit cards used to be a great cash cow for those who issued them; credit card users were milked of their money – and still are, to some extent, but not enough. So those who want to make money out of money have to think of new ideas. The cashless economy is one of them.

There are several reasons to resist and go on using cash.

First, you will save money on transaction costs. For spenders, cash purchases are -  for all practical purposes - cost  free.

Second, your cashless transactions will be tracked. They will use cookies – and then you won’t be able to browse a website without annoying advertisements popping up inviting you to buy again what you have just already bought. (Internet cookie-led advertising is no more sophisticated than that, is it?)

Third, think of the children. At what age will they be allowed into the cashless economy? Until then, they will need their pocket money.

Of course, cash has its drawbacks. Shop keepers have to heave bags of small change to the bank and pay for the privilege of banking it. Give them a helping hand. Write to your MP and the Bank of England telling them to withdraw all those virtually worthless 1p, 2p and 5p coins. Why should the charity boxes settle for less than 10p a throw? In the current UK economic climate, every little bit of inflation helps.

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