Monday, 27 September 2010

contactless banking

Strawbs

Been reading a lot about contactless banking over the weekend - things like Oystercards and the dinner cards used in schools. Technobanking seems keen to roll itself out globally, to the sheer numbers who'd become banked through mobile devices. Safer they say...

High on the agenda is promoting contactlessness to replace small cash transactions - and it all sounds very convenient and quite convincing - until you think about market traders and community groups which depend on small change. How would we pay for these strawberries, for instance, lovingly quartered by a group of middle aged ladies to raise money at a village fete? How might the homeless ask us to spare some change? Perhaps they should not. 

It's of particular interest because last Friday we attended a local presentation by Christians Against Poverty, one of several charities aiming to tackle the rising tide of consumer debt. A key principle they teach is the use of cash - a view which we share at Zero-credit. Remove the visual and kinaesthetic prompts that handling cash entails and a significant proportion of consumers have no concept of what they are spending. Perhaps that's the point... 
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