you heard the world is going paperless? Or, more specifically,
are actually good that for most things, youíve already made the
transition. Not completely. But a majority of the time. My guess
is that if you pull out your wallet to settle a bill, more than
half the time you are looking for a credit or debit card and not
thirty years ago, I bought my first car. I have vivid memories
of stopping at the bank more often after the purchase. Iíd be
there to get twenty-dollars out of my checking account to pay
I bring that story up to talk about the costs of the world. Because
I would fill the tank of the car and then still have enough change
from that twenty to grab a grinder at a local pizza shop or cover
a single movie ticket. It was a glorious time. (Not the single
movie ticket part. That was sad. But the car was pretty great.)
to the point of this essay however, the story covers a different
aspect of the world. I had to make the withdrawal. No gas stations
accepted debit cards at the time.
and I have been fortunate enough to travel a bit over the years.
And we have encountered a few hotels that act as cashless properties.
Honestly, itís nothing all that fancy. More of a charging-it-to-the-room
scenario. Essentially you put a credit card on file when you check
in, and for any purchases around the resort during your stay you
either settle the tab with your credit card or have it added to
your bill. But still, no cash involved.
times, they are arriving in the future.
a bit of full admission, a part of the cashless society canít
come soon enough. Most of you probably know that currency is some
of the most disgustingly dirty stuff you could ever handle. (Try
not to think about it. Just shove it off to the side of your mind.
Better off not letting it take over your thoughts.) So, yeah,
now that youíve had a moment to wash your hands or put away the
donít remember the last time I used cash at a gas station. I know
I have. Iím sure I had a five or ten in my wallet, needed some
gas, and decided to just pay with that rather than fill the tank.
But I have zero memories of it. For any time in years that involves
getting out and putting gas in the tank, my recollection says
I took care of the transaction by paying at the pump.
same rings true for paying the check at dinner, heading to the
store for orange juice and bread, shopping for clothes and on
and on. Weíve become so accustomed to the ability to pay with
something other than cash, so spoiled by the convenience of paying
with something other than cash, that often we find ourselves with
little to no cash on hand.
was the last time you used a gift card?
like a simple and innocent question. We all get them, and all
use them. Perhaps not often, but we are aware of what they are
and how they work.
you ever feel pressured by them?
walk into a restaurant or store with a $50 gift card. While looking
over the menu or the merchandise, you begin to figure out how
to use the $50. Perhaps the place was convenient for you, or maybe
it wasnít your tastes. Do you want to try and save some for a
future visit? Do you need to spend as much as you can because
youíre not planning to ever return?
you feel pressure to figure out how to spend the $50? Did you
need to go over that total so you had a small balance remaining
that would allow you to put a tip on your credit card? Did you
buy something you wouldnít have otherwise in order to use the
full amount available?
you work in a business that associates your service with gratuities,
how do gift cards and coupons and such change the way customers
tip? Do you have a preference on whether customers use cash or
an interesting scenario, this debate over cash. Some people never
get receipts. There are people that donít trust banks. At all.
And, for a variety of reasons, Iíve seen statistics that say approximately
six percent of people eligible to have banking accounts of some
type simply donít. Six percent use cash and nothing else. Not
checks. Not debit cards. Not credit cards. They rely on cash being
a universally accepted form of commerce.
all seen the cash only businesses. Thereís a good bakery near
me that only accepts cash. A place I used to frequent for awesome
sandwiches began accepting credits cards only because they were
toying with the idea of adding limited delivery options. And,
there are probably moments when youíve wandered into a business
and suddenly wondered if they accept credit cards.
often do you wonder if a place accepts cash?
the time has arrived when itís something you might want to be
a bit more aware of as you head out the door for dinner or a weekend