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 Post subject: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:12 pm 
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How hard is it to live without credit cards?
Heading to the states in May do I need credit cards?
They are handy, but add to the cost of purchases:
Quote:
March 17, 2012
In Sweden, cash is king no more
By AP News
3/17/2012

Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices _ which make money on electronic transactions _ have stopped handling cash altogether.

"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.

He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.

The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshippers to make offerings.

"People came up to me several times and said they didn't have cash but would still like to donate money," Tyrberg says.

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

Three percent is still too much if you ask Ulvaeus. A cashless society may seem like an odd cause for someone who made a fortune on "Money, Money, Money" and other ABBA hits, but for Ulvaeus it's a matter of security.

After his son was robbed for the third time he started advocating a faster transition to a fully digital economy, if only to make life harder for thieves.

"If there were no cash, what would they do?" says Ulvaeus, 66.

The Swedish Bankers' Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.

The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 _ the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down.

"Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public," says Par Karlsson, a security expert at the organization.

The prevalence of electronic transactions _ and the digital trail they generate _ also helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with graft than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece, says economics professor Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.
(Continued)
http://finance.townhall.com/news/busine ... ng_no_more

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:30 pm 
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I would be VERY fearful of ANY economy that didnt use cash or specie

The Gov would have complete control and you would not even be able to tell if they were lying to you

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Chiteng wrote:
I would be VERY fearful of ANY economy that didnt use cash or specie

The Gov would have complete control and you would not even be able to tell if they were lying to you


I keep account of my bank accounts etc. I would know.

It's stupid to think that hard currency was free. It has to be minted, counted, sorted etc. It too costs money to be used.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:02 am 
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Everything has a cost, including electronic cash.

That first text message for bus fare mentioned in the original article requires a start up cost for the user to procure the necessary tools: cell phone, service plan, bank account. Maybe a few hundred dollars, a few hours time, and a few miles of travel to set it all up. A few more text messages later that year for bus fare requires a maintenance cost for the tools. Maybe another few hundred dollars, another few hours time, and another few miles of travel to keep the system working at your end. Of course if you use these tools enough the per use cost keeps coming down, but the total doesn't go down, only up. Of course the bus line also has to make these investments. And records are kept of everything for years in various databases. And the system requires electricity and radio spectrum.

That's my two cents, in simple, reliable coin.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:23 pm 
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11Bravo wrote:
Everything has a cost, including electronic cash.

That first text message for bus fare mentioned in the original article requires a start up cost for the user to procure the necessary tools: cell phone, service plan, bank account. Maybe a few hundred dollars, a few hours time, and a few miles of travel to set it all up. A few more text messages later that year for bus fare requires a maintenance cost for the tools. Maybe another few hundred dollars, another few hours time, and another few miles of travel to keep the system working at your end. Of course if you use these tools enough the per use cost keeps coming down, but the total doesn't go down, only up. Of course the bus line also has to make these investments. And records are kept of everything for years in various databases. And the system requires electricity and radio spectrum.

That's my two cents, in simple, reliable coin.


Yes, people only buy cellphones for paying the bus ticket and there's no other way of covering that cost.'

In other words, it is an additional feature for the passenger's cellphone. As for startup costs etc, that's entirely dependent on how the thing is arranged.
I've used a mass transit card for over 8 years that allows no-touch paying for the fare.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:48 pm 
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In Canada, debit cards have become very popular, practically eliminating check writing and challenging cash in popularity. However, you have to get on a plan to make sure the bank isn't ripping you off with service charges on every transaction.


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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Willy wrote:
In Canada, debit cards have become very popular, practically eliminating check writing and challenging cash in popularity. However, you have to get on a plan to make sure the bank isn't ripping you off with service charges on every transaction.


I have been using payment card for virtually all my purchases for over 10 years. The only times I don't use it are some obsolete park meters and back in the day some shops (pizzerias) didn't have card readers.

Never heard of rip-off service charges. It must be mostly over there with your non-regulated economies. Over here banks have been mostly happy about getting rid of all the costs of 'challenging cash' as you put it. Electronic systems are by far a lot cheaper.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:

Yes, people only buy cellphones for paying the bus ticket and there's no other way of covering that cost.'

In other words, it is an additional feature for the passenger's cellphone. As for startup costs etc, that's entirely dependent on how the thing is arranged.


My point was NOT that cellphones are only used for buying bus fare. I was responding to the notion that cash is obsolete and the example used in the original article. I was also responding to the notion that a currency system somehow has a larger cost to the END USER than the electronic system, it most certainly DOES NOT. The currency system also does not store information on your transaction, another COST.

Certainly cell phone transactions can be convenient. They most certainly are not less costly to the end user for a bus fare -- the example in the original article.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:43 pm 
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11Bravo wrote:
Kameolontti wrote:

Yes, people only buy cellphones for paying the bus ticket and there's no other way of covering that cost.'

In other words, it is an additional feature for the passenger's cellphone. As for startup costs etc, that's entirely dependent on how the thing is arranged.


My point was NOT that cellphones are only used for buying bus fare. I was responding to the notion that cash is obsolete and the example used in the original article. I was also responding to the notion that a currency system somehow has a larger cost to the END USER than the electronic system, it most certainly DOES NOT. The currency system also does not store information on your transaction, another COST.

Certainly cell phone transactions can be convenient. They most certainly are not less costly to the end user for a bus fare -- the example in the original article.


I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you intended.

But still, mints are ran or at least funded by governments through taxes and banks pay for various physical cash related costs by billing their customers with various fees.

For me, to own a payment card costs me pennies a year. Of course using physical cash didn't cost me anything at all, especially if I didn't own a bank account or use other bank services. Now there's a minuscule sum for every transaction but I don't pay it, the shops do. Of course this translates to product prices in a minimal way but it's not unbearable.

Indeed, now all my payment details are found on my bank statement - it lists the days and names of the firms I've paid to and exact sums. Indeed, if you looked at a purchase from "XXX Store" that was 49,95, you could probably guess which product was bought, if you had the access to those statements. But indeed no one has access to my statements other than I and I don't engage in illegalities such as gray sector business and such. I pay my taxes for whatever I earn and so on.
I don't see us ever having a system where public authorities could check my account details to check if I'm trying to evade taxation for example - because then the rich would get caught pretty quickly. But, if we do get such a system, some day, it will have an exception for the richest elite - naturally.

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 Post subject: Re: Is cash obsolete?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:44 pm 
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I use my bank card for just about everything. There are no fees and I have not paid one cent in service charges in twenty years. Can't say the same for credit cards. They bumped my interest rate to 23% for absolutely no reason.

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