GOING CASHLESS WITHOUT FIRST GOING BROKE
In response to last week's pieces about electronic money,
Stephen Pradier writes: "I am a firm believer in going cashless
and coinless. Back in 1987 debit cards were in wide use on
the West Coast years before they made it over to the East
Coast. I thought it amazing to be able to make a purchase
from your personal bank account with plastic as opposed to
using a credit card.
In Arizona, the debit cards were different colors (from the
same bank), allowing merchants to have some idea of the
customers standing at the bank. Arizona is fairly transient
with tourists and retirees (snowbirds) so a debit card was
more widely accepted than a paper check.
Ever since debit cards were made available on the East
Coast, around 1996/1997, I have never had a red cent or a
greenback on my person. Now I only collect coins and
paper and never spend them.
Plastic money is accepted everywhere -- Colonel Sanders,
the grocery, pizza orders, taxi cabs, the US Post Office
(they even give you cash back if you want it) and most of
all the Internet merchants. Individuals can also accept
plastic or electronic money via Bill Payment services like
PayPal, C2IT, Billpoint, etc. You name it they take it.
Plastic money comes in all kinds of colors and motifs.
Cards produced with your favorite pastime, like Beer
Drinkers, Shooters, NFL, Golf, Birds, Cats, Trees, and
Spider Man to name a few. What's more, you are no
longer limited to a plastic card. They come as Wands,
Key Chains, and New Wave shapes. I have yet to see
a card that had the appearance of money.
It may yet take awhile for the U.S. to go cashless, much
like trying to go paperless. Some people just love the
look, feel and smell of real money."
In the opposite court is David Davis, who writes: "I find
the discussions about the demise of coins and currency
interesting to read or listen to but can't get very excited.
The past prognostications haven't been very reliable and,
while it may be shortsighted, who cares? The coins and
currency I collect was all made over 70 years ago. I am
more concerned with the fact that more firms in many
different fields are either going to or using CDs to replace
catalogs. I like the printed forms and find it inconvenient
to have to go to the computer to look something up. Is
this just another go around on the elimination of paper?
In business computers only added to the paperwork
Wayne Homren, Editor
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