As with many people in this electronic age I conduct the majority of my financial transactions via direct debit, by card or using money transfer either over the telephone or via the internet. I don’t relish the prospect of spending hours in bank queues waiting to pay my mortgage, electricity bill etc over the counter. Quite frankly I have better things to do with my time. There are however times when it is simply more convenient to pay by cash in the form of notes or coins. For example although the sandwitch shop close to my office accepts cards at no extra cost to me as a customer it is, quite simply easier to hand over a couple of pounds sterling rather than taking my card out, entering the PIN, taking the receipt etc!
We have become so accustomed to retailers accepting cards that we are taken back on coming across one which only accepts payment by cash. My favourite local, the Railway Bell only accepts cash and I’ve been witness to customers not aware of this fact either going on to a pub which takes cards or having to pay a visit to a cash machine before returning to enjoy a pint or two! On those rare occasions when I haven’t had as much cash in my pocket as I at first thought the staff have been happy to serve me safe in the knowledge that I won’t leave the country but will pay for my drink on my next visit! This is one of the advantages to being a regular!
The above thoughts where prompted by reading an article entitled “The Last Days Of Cash” in which the author describes his attempts to live for a year using only cashless modes of exchange. All goes well until he is faced by a conductor demanding payment. On attempting to pay by card the writer is told in no uncertain terms that he must hand over hard cash. Fortunately he has an emergency supply of cash in his briefcase so the situation is resolved without major incident. However the bus incident coupled with the author’s visit to India where cash is still very much king bring home to him that cash is still very much with us.
For the article please visit http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/my-year-trying-to-live-cash-free
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