I work at MasterCard so discussions about “cash” and the value of electronic payments are discussions we have on a regular basis.
After all, electronic payments are safer and more secure than cash. I use my credit or debit card for all my purchases, but recently had a few instances where cash was needed – the local car wash was cash only (no signs either!) and I did not have cash or a check in my wallet – long story, but I had to go through on the honor system, hit the local ATM and then return to pay!
But lo and behold, my favorite local pizza and deli shop has finally decided to accept cards for payments. The benefits are enormous, they serve much better pizza than the other place in town, but by not accepting payments, I found myself avoiding the restaurant, seeking an inferior product because of the “cash” situation. When I inquired about the change, I was told that they were tired of people ordering food, realizing it was cash only, fleeing to the ATM to never return. My guess is their business is about to increase…I know I have been there a few times already!
But enough from me – a new book is out by David Wolman called The End of Money and David has a great article on the Huffington Post on Why America Is Going Cashless. And if you are still not convinced check out another one that popped today about the huge growth of electronic payments in Sweden. It’s been a good day for the cashless lifestyle, but I am off to Washington, DC tomorrow and the land of taxis that only accept cash! We’ve got to work on that one! I’d be interested in your comments!