The biggest bank is a phone operator and people can send each other money over the phone and from what I understand this is very common. Also interestingly most phones aren't smart phones. It's mostly analog. Banks have a serious incentive to create and encourage cashless societies -- because they're limited by the liquidity ratio.
People there are more skeptical of hard cash there while here it's nearly on par with Gold in terms of confidence.
I don't think I've to explain offering an API allows third party engagement and endorsement and an opportunity for others to grow their service. Yes there are security concerns but these can be all secured from backend.
1. Fees at most banks are high. (A basic account with no transactions typically have fees of several dollar per month).
2. If people are moving away from physical cash, its because of security concerns (theft and robbery), not liquidity.
3. Most transactions are done by credit card, debit order or Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). EFTs are done between numbered banks account. Mobile to mobile phone transfers are still very rare.
4. People are stubornly loyal to their banks. If root fails, it will be cause of this.
E.g. My sons school charges 2% extra if i use credit card, Rs 20 if i use netbank and does not accept cash. So on a Saturday i am happy pay in cash when i have nothing else to do.
Unless government makes the transfer without fee (now they can print less money and that cost can be used for this infra of transfer), why is cashless better in the scenario where that saved time is not used for anything value generating?
Genuinely looking for answers to this that makes sense rather than saying time is money.
Feature of cash, not a bug. It's not the best choice for every situation, but neither is digital, which is why it's important that people have both options available.
Also consider Bitcoin as a "cashless society" alternative to the financial panopticon - no one's looking over your shoulder there and it's definitely not "cash".
I'm clearly in the 'it's nobody's business except for the parties involved' party...
'Cashless' as in 'cash is illegal' terrifies me. It's nothing more than a force multiplier for the power brokers (banks, govs, etc.).
There will always be corruption, theft, etc. But in one scenario, anyone can do it. In another, only the third (one) party can do it. Tell me which is better, oh starry-eyed Valley dreamer?
Which is why the tinfoil me gets change before doing tinfoil purchases xD
Ahem, ahead of the US, really. Canada and the EU can be cashless already, with chip cards and direct bank withdrawal at the POS a reality for 99.99% of merchants.
But it gets worse than that. If the government wants to punish you, they can just cut you off. Can't buy food, can't pay rent.
Oh you think your friends can help you? China has that covered too, with its shiny new credit system. Being associated with - let alone helping - people cut off from buying food may result in a drastic lowering of score and ability to do business yourself.
On the bright side, used wisely such coersion may he better than outright violence at stopping criminals and terrorists.
You do have to show government ID to get a cell phone or purchase long-distance train tickets. Also checking into a higher end hotel. And since using public Wi-Fi requires you to authenticate with your Chinese phone number, that's also effectively linked to your ID. There are many aspects of Chinese society that are easily trackable by the government, but commerce does not seem to be one of them, at least from what I've seen.
The idea that eliminating paper is some sort of boogeyman from Revelations is about as silly as the idea that holding on to your Glock allows you defend your rights against a corrupt government. Neither actually offer any type of protection against these particular issues.
Unless you are wandering around with $20K in cash everyday, your bank account is still subject to the very things you seem to be afraid of. The only thing that changes in a mostly cashless society is your access to your bank account. If the government is going to freeze your account, it matters little if you have a chip card or need to go to the teller.
Thankfully, we in the west have moved most of the management of this to the private sector, and require things like warrants before any real action is done. That can and is an issue at times, but has little effect on the day to day implementation of one method over another.
Try buying Cuban cigars without cash anywhere. Your VISA or MasterCard will mysteriously fail to allow this purchase – because, due to the embargo, these companies just refuse to allow transactions containing the words "cuba", "iran", etc.
VISA and MasterCard also have additional rules of their own, and if you have a society that is cashless, they can just cut you off, too.
This is giving a for-profit entity (which, by its own nature, does not care about you, just about taking your money) far too much power.
Sweden is having that problem: You can’t do anything without a debit card anymore, banks have high fees just to get cash from your account, but the only debit cards you can get are from VISA or MasterCard.
This wouldn’t be an issue if there were many competitors, or even local competitors, or if the systems were open.
The US definition of a "debit card" is massively different than the Canadian one. For us, our bank card is the debit card. The same one I use to take money out of my account at an ATM is the same one I can use to buy a $1 coffee.
Why some banks do charge outrageous fees, thanks to the free market there is a healthy market and many banks in Canada are now fully virtual or offer next to no fees.
Just because a system is poorly designed in one locale does not mean the idea itself is flawed, just that it should be implemented in an improved way.
I keep seeing this pop up, but it's a misconception; we have these in the US too. I have one, although I don't use it for purchases (I use a rewards credit card that gets paid off monthly instead). Here's an example (hopefully Wells Fargo doesn't redirect you because you're in Canada): https://welcome.wf.com/checking/?gclid=CIzL2ong1NMCFVBtfgodb...
The Interac system in Canada is pretty much a given for any vendor that has a cash register. That automatically makes every single bank card into a direct debit card. You can choose to use it if you want of course, but it's default for all bank accounts, really.
But that’s the point.
Cuban Cigars are legal in Germany.
You can legally buy them.
But every payment processor that’s located in the US can not process such a transaction.
Relying on foreign companies for most basic needs means you lose a lot of sovereignty.
It's more likely the case that an American credit card holder cannot buy them, even when he is in Germany, because he's subject to American laws, as I would be if I took a box into the US and started selling them.
It went so far that PayPal, VISA and MasterCard ended up threatening several German store chains to stop selling products from Cuba or they’d end all business with the store
It went into national media, and was discussed on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/ka26b/paypal_bl...
Rossmann won against PayPal in court, to this date they don’t offer any payment via PayPal.
They came to an agreement with VISA and MasterCard, where if a sale contains embargoed products, everything but these products can be paid by card, but the embargoed products can not.
Uhh, which ones? Free chequing accounts have transaction fees for Interac, and with unlimited Interac accounts you pay monthly or must keep a minimum balance. I'm sure there are a couple exceptions, but certainly not with TD, CIBC, NBC, etc.
The issue of "un banked" can be distinctly American too, actually. Given the extent of social programs in Can/EU, even the nearly homeless have bank accounts, because government funds are pushed directly into accounts, and it's more secure/timely than receiving a physical cheque. Not having a simply checking account is a very rare thing in Canada.
Making transactions more customizeable/automated is a great advantage. Why would you not want that? Also, this just came out, so it remains to be seen what long term effects it may have.
WTF are you talking about? No one uses bank transfers to send money to their families in the SADC region: it's quicker and cheaper to use formal and informal money transfer agencies where the recipient gets cash, which is not stolen "90% of the time".
I swear HN seems knowledgeable on all subjects except those I am deeply familiar with...
1. SWIFT transfers do get used for big transactions or paying corporations, but no one I know will be sending amounts less than monthly income this way
You can make a fairly valid extrapolation about the other areas where HN seems knowledgeable from this data point.
I started discounting what I read here about when I realized that.
When I said, "transfer the money from one bank account to another", I actually meant not sending the money physically, but by using various other means. I didn't know how to word this, and it came out wrong.
And I was talking about the cash being stolen 90% of the time, if you do choose to physically carry it with you back home. (Or trust someone else to do it)
This is also not true. 17,000 Zimbabweans travel into South Africa daily by road, most are destined for Musina (nearest South African town to the border) where they buy goods with cash. If theft rate is 90%, that would result in 15,300 cases of theft per day (5.5 million per year) which (a) just can't go unreported, even if you think Zimbabwe is some undeveloped backwater and (b) where do I sign up to join this very effective Thieves Guild? It has to be well-paying.
1. As of 2015, numbers are seasonal. http://www.702.co.za/articles/10509/31-000-people-cross-bord...
2. Because of depleted nostro accounts, most Zimbabwean banks have a maximum international withdrawal of $20-$50 (US dollars) per day
Good old Gell-Mann amnesia.
I fully agree.
The actually official Zimbabwe currency can't really be taken seriously because of insane inflation rates.
US Dollars vary greatly in price. Small transaction fees are nothing to operate cashlessly for some of these people compare to the risk of trying to store cash.
Even India recently banned high denomination notes because they were so associated with drugs and illegal behaviour.
> Absolutely -- the police can be very corrupt in Zimbabwe so you don't want hard cash hanging around or it will be taken.
Yes, the police are corrupt but they won't rob you, they might try and coerce a bribe.
> The actually official Zimbabwe currency can't really be taken seriously because of insane inflation rates.
This is wrong. It has been wrong for close to a decade because Zimbabwe "demonetized" its currency (Zimbabwean dollar) in 2008 after an infamous bout of hyperinflation - you might have seen/heard of the 100 Trillion dollar note.
1. Unless you have been incapacitated by a traffic accident. A worrying trend has emerged in recent years where passers-by or attending police go through the car and belongings of dead/dying accident victims. See http://www.chronicle.co.zw/chiriseri-corpse-robber-cop-dies-...
(I've never been to Zimbabwe: if there is a difference between cops "coercing" a bribe and what I'm assuming you mean I'd appreciate the clarification!)
Yes: you can say no to coercion but you have no choice when you are being robbed.
Violence (or the threat of it) is a hallmark of robbery: Zimbabwean police will not do that at traffic stops - they are usually not armed. They will, however threaten to impound your vehicle for minor infractions (which would be illegal in most cases) and/or threaten to jail you to wait for your court date. Either of these situations will require paperwork and the money goes to the state and not their pockets, so they make you wait and reconsider the bribe, but eventually let you go. Usually.
Also, in the context of this thread, having cash or money in the bank makes no difference because traffic stops now have portable card machines for "spot fines"!