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mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
Cash is just too much trouble, so it seems.

There is a move to only accept payment by card in some bars and restaurants. From contactless payments at self-service supermarket tills to online banking, it can seem like the digitisation of money is inevitable.

But cash is proving curiously resilient. In the UK, it is still used in 44% of consumer transactions and despite the rate of card transactions soaring and the value of cash payments falling by 10% annually, the volume of cash in circulation is at a record high. The number of British people who deal solely in cash – 2.7 million – is also rising. (This might be due to a booming criminal economy).

How do you normally pay for goods and services? DO you use internet banking or do you still prefer to go to your bank, or do you have a choice? Do you every use cheques any more?



  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,841 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Here the private persons have never used cheques, and now with all those bank cards it's meaningless. I usually spend a lot in banknotes for construction labour expenses since the latter are mostly unofficial in my case.

    I have two debet cards, the first one for receiving money and the second for spending. So, in case if the second one gets hacked or skimmed or whatever I risk loosing a relatively small sum only. I fill the spending card with cash withdrawn via an ATM of the bank, since there is no charge unlike in the case that I transfer them between the banks, moreover I see no need for the bank to know that I have an account elsewhere. Having the spending card is also a budgeting tool for me.

    I pay some utilities with Internet banking since they have the bills in their system what is convinient, the minus side is that they charge 0.5%. The telecom, mobile and Internet providers accept cards online with no charge, so I prefer this method. I never use a mobile banking for transactions since with a browser any transaction requires inputting a code sent to you in a SMS, so any potential malware which has infected either your phone or computer cannot access all the credentials needed.

    Speaking about the mobile apps, they offer a transfer money option which, in the case that the recipient is a customer of the same bank takes a second to complete and there is no charge. You need to know either the recipient's card number or the mobile number related to the card. This option by the bank dominating the retail market is virtually an extra payment method, using which you can pay a taxi driver, as an example.

    There are numerous payment kiosks with which you can pay pre-defined expenses and transfer money. I use them mostly to pay government duties and fees, since they always require a printed receipt when you're submitting your papers. These machines accept cards and banknotes, but don't give change, they credit your mobile instead. We also have an Internet government website which accepts cards like any Internet shop. This site is also a place to learn your taxes, road fines and bailiffs' balances.

    Speaking about cash, when on holidays abroad I always have cash in the foreign currency for which I change here and they always try to give you large denominations since a foreign currency (USD and EUR mostly) is a saving tool for many. So if you come across a Russian trying to pay with a €500 note, he or she isn't necessarily a pusher.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    Very interesting @Practical_Severard. I use a lot of cash too, but mainly because it doesn't cost any extra charges when I withdraw abroad from my UK account. Obviously there is a weak exchange rate, but since my income is all in the UK, I have to live with this wherever I am. I have found some reasonable money transfer companies and from time to time I use these to transfer larger sums to my account in France. But it is too much hassle to be always keeping an eye on the rate of exchange, so I tend not to do this too often.

    I occasionally use cheques in France, though less and less as my bank is local and I can give the recipient's details to them and they transfer the money at no extra cost.

    I only access my internet banking account from my laptop at home, but mainly just to check my balance. Regular payments to pay my internet and electricity are set up, but that's all. I would not want to pay using my mobile phone as I would be worried about what might happen if I lost the phone. I know that the security is supposed to enough to prevent fraudulent use, but I still don't have confidence in it.

    I use cash and my UK debit card when I travel. I am taking a couple of 100 US dollar bills with me, but the rest of the cash is in Euros when I go to Tunisia today. But I hope I won't need them, unless the ATM machines don't like my card (which I read can be a problem sometimes there). (My hotel is already paid for by card).
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    Half the banks here in Tunis don't seem to like foreign cards! I brought some dollars and euros in reserve, but fortunately managed after a few attempts to get cash from the ATM.
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