/ "War on Cash"

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FesteringSore - on 14 Jul 2017
Visa want to ban the use of cash in retail outlets:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/13/exclusive-visa-declares-war-cash-plan-pay-british-busines...
Surely, as long as cash exists, this is just wrong. If I go into a pub or shop or restaurant and want to pay cash then that is my right as long as cash is legal tender. Also, even in this day and age, there will be people who - for perfectly legitimate reasons - have no bank account and therefore conduct any financial transaction with hard cash.

As far as I can see the reason card companies want to do this is just another step towards maximising THEIR profits with 0.2% of every card transaction.

I am at a loss to know how they will impose it. Surely, if I offer cash for payment then the merchant has no reason to decline it and how that transaction is conducted is between the merchant and me.
jkarran - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

> As far as I can see the reason card companies want to do this is just another step towards maximising THEIR profits with 0.2% of every card transaction.

Of course.

> I am at a loss to know how they will impose it. Surely, if I offer cash for payment then the merchant has no reason to decline it and how that transaction is conducted is between the merchant and me.

They'll struggle but the chosen path would be to lobby government who will put a small-trader tax-avoidance spin on it with the help of the (tax minimising) billionaires who control our media and wish to keep people looking the other way. Will it work... probably eventually.
jk
Lusk - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to jkarran:

And we'll all end up paying more, loads of places charge you for using a card.
A Sam Smith's pub I go in charges 1.58%! I'm assuming that's what they get charged.
Rampikino - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

It's all just ones and zeros at the end of the day my friend. Cash may have a romantic appeal but fivers are just promise notes and coins are more symbolic.

Cashless is accelerating for various reasons, not just because credit card companies want it that way - but because it is easier too. I have noticed that I go less and less to cash machines and pay in a variety of ways for things, more often than not with a card - quick and convenient.

One day in the distant future we MAY go completely cashless and wonder what the fuss was about. in the meantime you also have the right to vote with your feet.

On your idea that you have a "right" to pay in cash - I'm not so sure about that. There is a difference between something being legal tender and a consumer having the right to use it in place of other means. I have to say I don't know.

Not quite the same thing, but at our work we cannot pay for food and drink in cash. We either use a top-up card system or we can use contactless. To be fair this works very well and doesn't lead to restless lynch mobs...
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Ridge - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rampikino:

Where I work we also cannot use cash for food and drink. We also have heavily monitored/blocked internet access, can't take phones and other items into certain areas, have compulsory drug & alcohol testing etc.

That doesn't mean we should impose those things on all aspects of our personal lives.
mrphilipoldham - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

My local corner shop charges 50p per transaction using the iZettle system. I'm also a user of the iZettle and know that the charges would only equal 50p if I was spending £50.. I walked out and have refused them custom ever since.
Rampikino - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ridge:

> Where I work we also cannot use cash for food and drink. We also have heavily monitored/blocked internet access, can't take phones and other items into certain areas, have compulsory drug & alcohol testing etc.

> That doesn't mean we should impose those things on all aspects of our personal lives.

It's kind of why I said that it was not quite the same thing.

But ultimately what is being "imposed"?

At the moment you have a variety of ways to pay, but they are limited in their own way. You can't go to your local supermarket and pay with gold can you?
1
summo on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> And we'll all end up paying more, loads of places charge you for using a card.
> A Sam Smith's pub I go in charges 1.58%! I'm assuming that's what they get charged.

In Sweden there are no card fees, or minimum spends. They are not allowed. Shops etc.. probably have a very small price increase on everything to cover their costs and pretty much every bank charges the card holder £20-30 annually to have a card. No such thing as free banking.

There are some shop that only cards, mobile or invoicing as payment. But also seasonal shops that will only do cash or phone payments. Which ever suits the market best.
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Rampikino - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:


> I am at a loss to know how they will impose it. Surely, if I offer cash for payment then the merchant has no reason to decline it and how that transaction is conducted is between the merchant and me.

A quick trawl of the internet would suggest that they absolutely can do this if they like under most circumstances - they are not obliged to sell to you. Appears to be the same in the US too.
elsewhere on 14 Jul 2017
Electronic payment is cheaper than cash handling (e.g. 1% charge on business accounts) as it doesn't need a branch network & branch staff.

A business can save money by going electronic unless charge back due to fraud is higher, they use cash to evade tax or they pay wages & suppliers with cash to legally reduce cash handling fees at the bank.
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neilh - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

I wonder how the upmarket chinese restaurant that I went to yesterday will cope--- cash only no credit cards accepted...LOL
jonfun21 on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to neilh:

Add to that most of Bakewell which seems to generally function only using cash (or maybe it was just the places we visited)
FesteringSore - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
> A business can save money by going electronic

But do they pass that saving on to the customer? Judging by the signs proclaiming a £X surcharge for card payments I have my doubts.
Post edited at 12:58
Bob Kemp - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rampikino:

> It's kind of why I said that it was not quite the same thing.

> But ultimately what is being "imposed"?

> At the moment you have a variety of ways to pay, but they are limited in their own way. You can't go to your local supermarket and pay with gold can you?

That's true as far as it goes, but I wonder if you're missing the point a little? There is a civil liberties aspect to the cashless revolution as Ridge indicates. To take part in the cashless economy means handing over control to a set of intermediaries who broker your payment - your bank, the Visa system and the like. That gives them power over your ability to spend and survive, not to mention providing them with a huge amount of personal data. The former isn't a problem for many people but will be for anyone on the margins, or who wishes to subsist outside of the mainstream. The latter should concern us all.

Have a look at this for an in-depth examination of the implications of going cashless:

http://tech.newstatesman.com/feature/war-on-cash

(If you can't be bothered, here's a small flavour:

"The shadow economy is not just ‘poor’ people. It’s potentially anybody who hasn’t internalised the correct state-corporate narrative of normality, and anyone seeking a lifestyle outside of the mainstream. The future presented by self-styled innovation gurus has no scope for flexible, unpredictable or invisible people. They represent analogue backwardness. The future is a world of endless consumer choice built upon an inescapable digital uniformity of automated rules, a matrix outside which you can neither exist nor think.")
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DancingOnRock - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

Business accounts typically pay 40p per £100 cash deposited. 0.2% sounds like a win-win for businesses and consumers.
ClimberEd - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

What about budgeting.

Everyone has mentioned costs etc.

But if you are running on a (tight) budget, the best way to monitor and stick to it is to pay for everything in cash, due to the added poignance of handing over 'money' rather than tapping a card.

1
daWalt on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

> But do they pass that saving on to the customer? Judging by the signs proclaiming a £X surcharge for card payments I have my doubts.

it's a scale thing, e.g. large supermarkets are very keen to minimize cash due to handling costs (I think the whole idea of getting cashback at the till with debitcard transactions came from this).
for a wee corner shop it's the opposite; taking a 3% cut on the piffling profit from selling fags, crisps and sweets isn't ideal. same points mentioned before re staff, suppliers paid in cash.
greg_may_ - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

Local coffee shop to where I work (Manchester centre) wouldn't accept payment by cash, or by card with PIN, only contactless as they viewed it as slowing down their morning trade.

Stood at the till, with no contactless card, after ordering coffee and pastry for myself and a workmate - I shrugged - then told them I can't pay unless they'd accept card on PIN, or cash. All while holding £10 in my hands. Still no from them.

Ok I say, money back in wallet, and we walked out. There was one person behind me waiting, no line of people waiting to order, that person was my workmate. We've not been back.
Graeme Alderson on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Not true - cash handling fees are typically about 0.9% whereas card charges are around 1.3%

Of course there are other costs eg terminal rental charges, the need for a phone line, the time cost of counting the cash, counterfeit notes.

I doubt cash will disappear as there are always times when the various electronic systems fail and businesses will always take cash especially high volume low(ish) value transaction businesses
davidbeynon on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to ClimberEd:

From the banks point of view the ease of overspending is a feature not a bug.

If you watch your spending and live within your means then you are a poor consumer. You are supposed to get into debt so that the banks have first dibs on all your future earnings.
Rampikino - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Thanks Bob.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating the total removal of all cash. Like you said, it risks affecting the most marginal of people and communities. Similarly you could also argue that cash is just one step along the evolutionary road of "value exchange" which started way back when (exchanging goods for food etc).

There has to be a way of ensuring that it doesn't exclude unfairly. Let's be honest, when it comes to a coffee shop you can simply walk out and go to another one, but paying for more urgent services has to be available rather than restrictive.

I'm not ready to give up on cash just yet, but I am similarly not scared by the prospect of cashless.
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tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> "The shadow economy is not just ‘poor’ people. It’s potentially anybody who hasn’t internalised the correct state-corporate narrative of normality, and anyone seeking a lifestyle outside of the mainstream. The future presented by self-styled innovation gurus has no scope for flexible, unpredictable or invisible people. They represent analogue backwardness. The future is a world of endless consumer choice built upon an inescapable digital uniformity of automated rules, a matrix outside which you can neither exist nor think.")

There is absolutely nothing uniform or conformist about the digital economy, There is a whole raft of new cryptography based currencies, the best known of which are Bitcoin and Etherium. Crypto currencies offer the nearest thing you can get to a libertarian's dream money, decentralised with no need for endorsement by the state or conventional banking services.


Martin W on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rampikino:

> A quick trawl of the internet would suggest that they absolutely can do this if they like under most circumstances - they are not obliged to sell to you. Appears to be the same in the US too.

That tallies with the Wiki article I quickly looked up, which states that, in the UK:

Legal tender is solely for the guaranteed settlement of debts and does not affect any party's right of refusal of service in any transaction.

So it's perfectly legal to decline to do business with a customer if they want to pay cash but you don't want to accept it. Depending on what you're providing, though, you may need to make this clear up front. A newsagent can just take the goods back if the customer declines to pay by card. A restaurant really needs to make it clear that they don't take cash before allowing you to order.
dread-i - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

>My local corner shop charges 50p per transaction using the iZettle system. I'm also a user of the iZettle and know that the charges would only equal 50p if I was spending £50.. I walked out and have refused them custom ever since.

If the local corner shop makes an extra few pence on a transaction, it's not a big deal. You pay that for the convenience of them being local and open all hours, with higher prices. Do you complain that a pint of milk and loaf of bread are more expensive than asda?

Now, if you were complaining about airlines, especially budget airlines, charging a credit card surcharge, then I would have some sympathy.
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captain paranoia - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to greg_may_:

> Local coffee shop to where I work (Manchester centre) wouldn't accept payment by cash, or by card with PIN, only contactless as they viewed it as slowing down their morning trade.

I'd be very surprised if they can make a cup of coffee in the time it takes to enter a PIN. They just need to modify their workflow to have payment made while they prep the coffee.
Graeme Alderson on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to greg_may_:

What would they do if you ordered over the contactless limit?
Bob Kemp - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> There is absolutely nothing uniform or conformist about the digital economy,

Well, that's a pretty big generalisation, but I know what you mean. I think that the quote I used is not referring directly to the digital economy as a whole but the kind of conception of the digital economy being pushed by what they called "self-styled innovation gurus". And we don't necessarily have to accept that. I suspect that as we gain a better understanding of the risks and rewards involved we will evolve a mixed approach that means that we don't put all our eggs in one (hackable) basket. It's worth being aware of the potential for misuse though.
Bob Kemp - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rampikino:

Fair enough. As for excluding people, there's a case for saying that limiting marginalised people to the cash economy is actually bad for them - they lose out by being trapped in a cash-only economy. What's required is a diversity of ways of being cashless, ones that don't necessarily require a bank account and a good credit rating.
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Dave the Rave on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

Will I still be able to pay for my morning pint in spoons with small denomination change, found at the back of the settee?
If not, me and thousands of other early morning bar room politicians could wreck the economy!
JoshOvki on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to greg_may_:

Stuff that. Go back in every day and repeat the process.
mrphilipoldham - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to dread-i:

They're open fewer hours than the Co-op about 3 minutes drive down the road! Closed by 10pm on a Friday evening, where else do I pop out and get my second bottle of red from?
Dauphin on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

Another tax on the poor.

D
1
greg_may_ - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

You know...that would be quite interesting. And annoying when they couldn't get paid
greg_may_ - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to JoshOvki:

I would, but the closer coffee chop now gives us a discount as they aren't a bunch of twits.
FesteringSore - on 16 Jul 2017
There is, I believe, another downside to this anti-cash attitude.

I have always felt that charitable donations should be a spontaneous gesture. If I see a collection tin for a charity which I feel is a worthy cause - RNLI, Mountain Rescue etc - I will donate an amount of cash from my pocket. (I object strongly to signing up - sometimes under pressure - for a Direct Debit for charities. I did so once and after a while they started getting greedy and asked me to increase the amount)
I am sure a lot of people still prefer to support charities in such a manner and the question is bound to arise - what will become of such donations in a "cashless" world. I suspect many will lose out.
RomTheBear on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to ClimberEd:
> What about budgeting.

> Everyone has mentioned costs etc.

> But if you are running on a (tight) budget, the best way to monitor and stick to it is to pay for everything in cash, due to the added poignance of handing over 'money' rather than tapping a card.

Come on, pretty much everybody has a smartphone these days, you can get your balance in no time. You can even set up balance alerts. If with all these tools available you still can't budget, I think the problem is somewhere else.
Post edited at 10:01
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timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

Do they have to pass it on to the customer?
timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to ClimberEd:
> What about budgeting.

> Everyone has mentioned costs etc.

> But if you are running on a (tight) budget, the best way to monitor and stick to it is to pay for everything in cash, due to the added poignance of handing over 'money' rather than tapping a card.

For some people that will be true, others will prefer the ease of monitoring that cashless payment facilitates..
Post edited at 10:20
timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to FesteringSore:

> There is, I believe, another downside to this anti-cash attitude.

> I have always felt that charitable donations should be a spontaneous gesture. If I see a collection tin for a charity which I feel is a worthy cause - RNLI, Mountain Rescue etc - I will donate an amount of cash from my pocket. (I object strongly to signing up - sometimes under pressure - for a Direct Debit for charities. I did so once and after a while they started getting greedy and asked me to increase the amount)

> I am sure a lot of people still prefer to support charities in such a manner and the question is bound to arise - what will become of such donations in a "cashless" world. I suspect many will lose out.

Most collection to seem to placed alongside or close to tills to encourage people to chuck their change in.

This is just as easy achieved by inviting people to add a donation onto a card payment.

At the end of they day I tend to keep a mental note of whether I feel that i have donated too much or to little to charity recently and the payment method has no influence on my decision when I am asked to donate.

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