Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Your money is no good here

Has anyone ever told you, "Your money is no good here"? If so, you would expect a freebie.
Someone else would be picking up the tab on your behalf.

That's what I used to think. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe there’s a more literal meaning, one having to do with the anticipated cashless society. The demise of cash and checks has been making headlines, as have the proliferating options for mobile payments. Below are just a few:

The Truth About the Death of Cash
“Will cash disappear? Many technology cheerleaders believe so…”

Is It Time To Write Off Checks?
“In the age of digital alternatives, checks are fading.”

Samsung follows Apple into Chinese mobile payment market
Mobile payment platforms use smartphones in place of physical credit or debit cards – and they’re now available on more phones and in more markets.

Then there’s bitcoin, the digital currency – virtual tokens – that can be exchanged for goods and services with those who accept them.

But don’t ditch your wallet or checkbook just yet.

Sometimes you need a little folding money for small purchases from local shops. Or to pay your share when splitting the check. Or, like me, your smartphone has compatibility issues with payment apps (think BlackBerry Q10 on T-Mobile). Or think about your grandmother, who still sends checks for your birthday.

What I like most about having every currency option available is choice. There are times when credit cards or online bill payment make sense, and others when traditional checks are best. I usually pay for purchases in stores using a credit card, but I keep folding money handy for when cash is the only payment accepted. At some point, I’ll spring for a new smartphone that will make mobile banking and bill paying more accessible, but I’m still weighing my options.

Maybe I can take a page from Popeye’s Wimpy, who claims: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Although, as we all know, Tuesday never comes. 

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