Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Money, Money Money!

John Redwood has written on his blog today a piece entitled "What is Money?
A simple question which is quite difficult to answer.

I've made a comment, and thought that I'd post it on my own site.
There appears to be increasing pressure for us all to make electronic payments rather than cash (or cheques). I don’t know whether it is coming from the companies handling the transaction who collect a percentage of each transaction, or from the government who see it as a means of reducing tax avoidance.
But in my point of view, it has nasty side effects. When you have to pay cash, you get it out of your wallet and actually handle it; you realise that it is leaving you and there’s not so much left. I believe this leads people to think more carefully before they spend and realise that they could be short by the end of the week/month.
Spending by card tends to remove the feeling of spending money, the touch and go facilities for payment up to £30 are hardly noticed. A couple of lattes in the coffee shop, just touch your card and bingo, transaction complete. I wonder how many people look with horror at their monthly card statement and think “I can’t possibly have spent that amount”? But they have without realising it! Is the huge card debt in this country sustainable? I think there could be problems on the way!
I avoid spending by card for items costing less than £20, but is amazing how many people look at you in surprise when you tender a note! I don’t want ‘touch and go’ on my cards, largely for security reasons, but by card company seems reluctant to let me have a card without the facility. Why? We are told about the huge cost of credit card fraud and I want to help prevent it, as, with the right equipment, the card can be accessed at a distance of a few metres.
A friend of mine recently received a new credit card which already had two under £30 transactions, presumably by someone in the chain along the way. The matter is still being investigated, but the card company cancelled the transactions without hesitation, so they are clearly aware of the problem.

As far as I’m concerned, I prefer cash any day!