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Is a cashless society on the cards?

 
Dead Man Walking
User ID: 795057
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01/12/2010 03:20 PM
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Is a cashless society on the cards?
[link to www.telegraph.co.uk]



Steve Perry, executive vice president of Visa Europe, says cash is expensive - a cost on society - and should be replaced by a cashless society.

By Philip Aldrick
Published: 6:25PM GMT 11 Jan 2010

Is a cashless society on the cards? Steve Perry, executive vice president of Visa Europe, says cash is expensive - a cost on society - and should be replaced by a cashless society.
Steve Perry, executive vice president of Visa Europe, has a different take on the folding stuff packed in our wallets that most of us take for granted. "Cash is expensive," he says. "We need to be using it less."

Expensive? Vintage wines, maybe. Designer clothes, yes. Modern art, almost certainly. But cash?


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He has me stumped there. I tell him I always thought of it as a service for overdrawn students to drive a few more sales through the tills.

"No," he responds politely. "It's because they want cash out of the system so there is less to manage. Processing a transaction on a card can be cheaper than handling cash."

Perry is a leading cheerleader for the cashless society. It's hardly a surprising role, but its an argument he is finding increasingly easy to make. Last month, for example, the Payments Council announced to anguished outrage that in 2018 the cheque would be dead.

"There are many more efficient ways of making payments than by paper in the 21st century, and the time is ripe for the economy as a whole to reap the benefits of its replacement," Paul Smee, chief executive of the Payments Council, said.

Perry extends the same argument to cash. Notes and coins are never going to be fully replaced, he accepts. Currency has, after all, been around in some form or another since 3,000BC. But now that we're in the electronic age, payments could do with a little catching up, he reckons.

Visa has recently published an extensive report on the cost of cash to society. Citing numerous independent papers by consultants and national governments, the payments company constructs a compelling case.

"The European Commission has calculated that the total cost to society of all payment methods including cash, cheques and payment cards equates to 2pc-3pc of GDP," the report states. "To put this figure into context, it should be remembered that the entire EU agricultural sector equates to 2.1pc of GDP, which means we spend more on payment than we produce on food."

The EC estimates that cash accounts for more than two-thirds of the total cost. McKinsey, the consultants, have estimated that "society spends about €200 (£180) a year per person to cover the cost of cash" and the "real" cost of cash to a retailer is 1.3pc of the purchase price – no less than the transaction fee on a card. The Dutch central bank has published a similar study, estimating the annual cost of cash at €300 per family.

Because cards are less risky (the associated cost is estimated at 0.02pc-0.1pc per transaction on cards compared with 0.1pc-0.2pc with cash) and encourage spending, they are more efficient and better value, Visa argues. Furthermore, card transaction fees are expected to fall, with some countries in Europe such as Denmark already offering free debit card services to retailers.

In the UK, Perry estimates, £1 in every £2.50 is spent on cards. He hopes to see the ratio reversed, with £2 in every £3 on cards by 2015. Of course, that would mean more business for Visa but, he claims, it would also mean less waste through cash security and cash handling costs.

A few years ago, changing consumer behaviour to such a degree would have been unthinkable. Perry says the internet and "chip and pin" have changed all that. Online retailers have helped the public grow familiar with card purchases, while chip and pin has reduced the incidence of fraud from 0.07pc to 0.05pc.

In the EU, according to the European Central Bank, €1.68 trillion was spent on cards in 2008 and use has been growing at 12pc a year for the past five years. Debit card spending this year in the UK is expected to overtake cash spending by value for the first time.

Perry believes the UK consumer is ready, citing the massive increase in the use of debit cards. Visa, best known for credit cards, now generates 70pc of its European business through debit cards.

Other countries are not so enlightened, he notes. Germany is still so nervous about card payments that some online retailers offer a service where they collect the cash at the customer's door on delivery. Others are more technologically savvy. South Korea introduced a preferential VAT treatment for consumers paying with cards to encourage the move to cheaper, cashless payments. Subsequently, the share of cash payments fell from 40pc in 2002 to 25pc in 2006.

For Visa, the challenge now is the 80pc of all transactions that are still made in cash – largely small ticket items such as newspapers and snacks. Visa has been pioneering contactless payments, that allow swift purchases by waving the card over a reader and dispensing with a pin – making buying with a card even more effortless than with cash.

Perry believes 2010 will be the year contactless takes off, with the total number of cards in use rising from 5m to 15m. Barclaycard has already 1m customers on its "onepulse" card.

Visa's new vision is to insert chips into mobile phones and do away with cards altogether. Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays' global retail bank, already has a "onepulse" enabled phone and more prototypes are being trialled at Visa's innovations suite. The difficulty is persuading mobile phone manufacturers to build a handset that can store a chip and antennae.

Jenkins believes contactless mobile phones are the future and will open the door to fully mobile banking. Soon enough, people will be receiving, making and managing their payments on mobile phones, he reckons. In Africa, six million people are already paying for goods on their mobiles, proving that electronic payment systems can be more reliable and secure than cash.

Of course, cash will never be fully replaced. It's the currency of the black economy for a start, which is one reason why the authorities would like it used less and less. In Italy, for example, the black economy is estimated to be 40pc of GDP and 12pc in the UK. It's also proved remarkably adaptable over the past five millenia. For Visa, though, there is still ample room for cards.
Zerocyber

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01/12/2010 03:37 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Well I have 2 things to say about that:

1.) I think there will be a cashless society in America, and there is 2 possible ways. This is number one (obvious) and the idea is that we will all be cashless thanks to the economy. What do I mean? Well if that isn't obvious I'll spell it out for you. YOU WILL BE SO FREAKING POOR YOU WILL HAVE NO CASH. Off to number 2.

2.) Cash will be turned into credit cards. All money will go into your credit card (more like a debit card, but with your bank supporting it). If you make a purchase, it will come directly from your bank or checking account. This will be so Government can easily trace were your money is going.

Or, it will just be easier for banks to keep track of your money that you are spending. It will both make it easier to find out when someone is illegally using your CC, and it will be easier to find what you have recently bought (making recipes less important).
Dead Man Walking (OP)
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01/12/2010 04:03 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
so, they want to put a chip in your phone and more or less that will be your "card", mind blowing.
Medic
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03/21/2012 08:45 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
All will receive a mark either on the forehand or forehead. With out it you will not be able to buy, sell, trade. Also known as the mark of the beast. possilby a chip implanted under the skin.
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:16 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
State side it is already law. A class II subdermal device for the purpose of the 'registry'.
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:17 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
no, not on the cards, on the chips.
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:18 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
State side it is already law. A class II subdermal device for the purpose of the 'registry'.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 12902144


not the registry, the beast
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:21 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
All will receive a mark either on the forehand or forehead. With out it you will not be able to buy, sell, trade. Also known as the mark of the beast. possilby a chip implanted under the skin.
 Quoting: Medic 1366222


you have the mark already, its your social security card.
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:21 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
State side it is already law. A class II subdermal device for the purpose of the 'registry'.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 12902144


not the registry, the beast
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 11094839


if you have a social security number you are already on the registry and in the "beast" computer. wake up people. its doesn't have to be a chip under the skin. cashless society removes private trade using cash and is against god. final slavery to a money system.
Muzzle

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03/21/2012 09:39 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
With the constant printing of more and more US dollars, they will eventually become worthless. Our money will become bank credits accessible only through electrical transactions--through debit/credit cards, phones, or input of credit-card numbers and signature. All other trade will be bartering--and most forms of that will become illegal.
In his book, "Between Two Ages," Brzezinski wrote: "The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values."

MuzzleBreak
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:45 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
What if food, transportation and education were free, (and weed was leagel), the black market and many other evil functions would be destroid, freedom would rien once again because one would just not have the abillity to buy bullshit.
Anonymous Coward
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03/21/2012 09:59 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
There's a bunch of low-lifes sitting there thinking "but I'm a good lier, I lie good for money".
Medic
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03/24/2012 11:08 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Your Social security Card is not the Mark Of The Beast. The Mark is something people can and should reject. You get a SOC card when you are born. You could not reject it at that age. The card will play a part in it, but is not the " Mark " spoken of in the bible.
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2012 11:10 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
tl;dr


No. There will always be cash specifically because the government needs the treasury for an excuse to make jobs.
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2012 11:11 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Your Social security Card is not the Mark Of The Beast. The Mark is something people can and should reject. You get a SOC card when you are born. You could not reject it at that age. The card will play a part in it, but is not the " Mark " spoken of in the bible.
 Quoting: Medic 1366222


The Mark of the Beast isn't given through action, but inaction. Most of us carry the mark, every time we decide to watch tv rather than stand up for good and right.
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2012 11:44 PM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
:owlry:
Medic
User ID: 1366222
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03/25/2012 04:04 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Revelation states: you can not buy or sell or trade with out the mark. No one carries the mark right now. If you take the mark you will not be forgiven, not in this life or the next. When they try and make you take the mark, dont do it.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 10644407
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03/25/2012 10:19 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Revelation states: you can not buy or sell or trade with out the mark. No one carries the mark right now. If you take the mark you will not be forgiven, not in this life or the next. When they try and make you take the mark, dont do it.
 Quoting: Medic 1366222


"Try and make" ha. When they've got your family lined against the wall with guns to their heads good luck in that decision.

Those that fight the alamo till they can't fight anymore, I'll see you where it counts - and I am sorry for what you had to put your families through.
Anonymous Coward
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Germany
03/25/2012 11:07 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
The burden that stands for freedom can never be too high.

Costs saved will not reach people.

But unemployment.

Wireless technology is widely underestimated regarding the damage caused in nature and life.

Reasonable thoughts control-freaks can't get.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1038776
United States
03/25/2012 11:28 AM
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Re: Is a cashless society on the cards?
Your Social security Card is not the Mark Of The Beast. The Mark is something people can and should reject. You get a SOC card when you are born. You could not reject it at that age. The card will play a part in it, but is not the " Mark " spoken of in the bible.
 Quoting: Medic 1366222


you also dont pay taxes at that age...how many ways do we consent to the social insecurity system?

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