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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Money online: The growth of electronic payments and the disappearance of cash

Cash is becoming less useful in the wake of electronic payment methods
Credit rewards add financial opportunity to transactions
By Blair Thomas

It’s a no-brainer and we all forget about this. The check book takes up a lot of room and after each transaction we need to write down what we have spent. We really should be doing this anyway, but we tend to rely on our brain to subtract things with the debit/credit card from the account. 

Cash is bulky and will either prevent the wallet from bending to return to the back pocket, or the clasp won’t close and we can’t stuff it back into the purse. Either way, cash can be heavy especially if a lot of change is involved. More than one person's back has been put out because of heavy overload from too many nickels and according to ABC News, the payment processing industry is banking on consumers to use their plastic.

At the end of the day, or even throughout the day, we pull out the phone and check our balance, making certain that all purchases have come through and we know what our balance in the bank is; Easy peasy. With cash, we don’t have an overdraft that we can use to extend what we know we can spend. Not mention, we like looking at the phone because we can also do other things online while we are there.

The grand scheme

We as consumers don’t pay an enormous amount of fees to use our cards. We do get socked at the ATM machine if we don’t use our own banks mechanisms to draw cash out, but that is to be expected. They are trying to make some money doing business, and that is the cost of locating one not our own. Makes sense huh?

A fee is tacked on when we make payments by phone. We get a small fee for processing the transaction, and with some online payments, they do the same thing. The industry has this regulated and they can only do a certain amount on top of our payment. If it gets out of hand, don’t be afraid to report  illegal debit card fees. Turn them into your states attorney general’s office and don’t let them get away with it. New rules bar debit cards from being charged fees for convenience. Credit cards however, are still subject to this possibility.

Why use cash

Let’s face it, a lot of rewards are on the market to exit the cash strategy. Cash is cash and it has its place, but if you watch the advertisements, you could save a bundle in money with things that you were going to do anyway. Your bank will run modified programs, and the airlines have travel miles that can be saved and tacked onto rewards cards. You can get cash back on others, behooving you to be a shopper among cards.

When cash is spent, it’s all gone and then the only thing in the wallet is cobwebs. With the debit card or credit card, the whole world is still open to ideas and possibilities. However, keep in mind, credit cards are still considered a good option due to the many advantages they afford.


If you play your cards right, you can get cash back, travel across the country and have a Christmas club to work on when you return home. The credit cards out there have different programs that could help you pay for things that you enjoy, just don’t lose your wallet. Cause the cash in there will be spent right off the bat from someone that does not want to be on the grid. Not all of us are hiding, but cash tends to lean that way.

Use your credit/debit card, that’s why they were made. Enjoy your life while you are here. It’s so short; don’t be afraid to rock the world with your voice.  

About the author: Hi I'm Blair Thomas, I have 10+ years of experience in the electronic payments industry, managing several successful agent offices and registered ISO's. I work hard during the day and spend my nights and weekends developing my music career as a singer songwriter signed to David Faustino’s label Old Scratch Records.

Image credit: Woodsy, RGBStock royalty free.