They seem to be inexorably trying to nudge us towards a cashless society.
I opened my first bank account back around ’70. This was the first time I had a chequebook which I found very convenient if I could find a place that would cash a cheque. The vast majority of my transactions were with cash though.
Gradually over the years, things changed slowly and I used my chequebook less and less and now only write maybe two or three cheques a year. Banks have been replaced by ATMs and the Interwebs so now I visit my branch very rarely. It is many years since I went into a bank solely to withdraw cash.
One by one, the shops in the village got in those cord yokes which I admit make life a little easier, provided I can remember my PIN. Sometimes my mind goes blank but I usually get there in the end. However I couldn’t be bothered using the card for smaller amounts so usually carry a few quid around with me for the smaller purchases.
Then they introduced the swipe thing where I just tap the machine with my card and don’t have to use my PIN at all. This morning the bank sent me updated Mastercards which are also of the tappy type, not that I ever use Mastercard at all.
So now there is theoretically no reason to carry cash at all. Even if I was buying a newspaper or something small I could just tap my card and that’s that.
Bollox to that!
Okay, the card is convenient but there are times when I don’t particularly want some computer somewhere to know what I am spending my money on. I’m a great believer in nixers and for those you need cash. Also white Van Man tends not to carry around a little card reader and insists on a cash only transaction and I wouldn’t argue with that. Buying pints in a pub could also be problematic if I had to fish for my card every time, and anyway why the fuck should I let “the authorities” know how much I consume?
Of course the very reason they want a cashless society is so they can keep tabs. Already they know exactly what groceries I buy and can deduce a lot from that [no kids, a dog and we don’t go in for any of that “healthy food” crap]. They know how much I use the car and even what [legal] tobacco I smoke. But they can go fuck themselves if they want to keep tabs on my drinking or who fixes various things around the house.
I suppose the next step is to phase out cash altogether. Already they are trying to scrap the 1 and 2 cent coins though they aren’t getting very far with that. Eventually they will though and then they’ll start working their way up the denominations until we realise that the only currency left is the €100 note which no one will use as they can’t get any change.
I have just this minute received an email from my bank. They are trying to convince me to use “Android Pay” [“another helpful new way to pay“].
Helpful, my hole.
They can shove that one where the sun don’t shine.