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Topic: COVID-19 pandemic - the end of cash?  (Read 380 times)
Marc
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« on: March 23, 2020, 03:04:55 pm »

As we all stay home and physical distance, I've been wondering if the cash-less society is closer than we think.  Like 9/11, there will be a before and an after in terms of how daily life functions because of COVID-19.
An ever growing number of retailers are no longer accepting cash as payment and claim the measure is temporary.  The BoC isn't too pleased about this.

Personally I'm not afraid of cash handling and I think fear of it is unjustified, but that's me.

I seriously doubt that every retailer will go back to accepting cash after seeing how much easier card-only has been.

Did the cash-less society get ten steps closer in the span of a couple weeks?  Food for thought.

Stay safe.

Marc :)
friedsquid
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 05:06:06 pm »

Living in a rural area you tend to know people
and meet them In stores more than you would in larger cities
From talking to many of them who I know tend to use cash more often than not
Have said that the reason they are using credit cards is not because of ease
But because of lack of funds at the moment
And I see this getting worse as time passes
No cash= more credit card debt
To bad the large credit card companies don’t drop
Their interest rates below loan shark rates





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AL-Bob
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 06:13:34 pm »

Did the cash-less society get ten steps closer in the span of a couple weeks?  Food for thought.

Exactly what I was thinking.
walktothewater
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 01:34:33 pm »

We were out in a GTA mall (a week ago today) to break up the stay-at-home monotony & 50% of the retail chains were closed with very few patrons. I stepped into a deserted Indigo bookstore and bought a $2 hardcover (I know "Big spender" eh? :D) I was surprised to see a few other people venture into the store right after me (like I was the "guinea pig").  I gave my toonie to the salesclerk before I saw their little sign ("No Cash purchases") but with gloved hands she accepted my cash nevertheless.  8) Everyone seemed quite content to keep their distances.  I think she was happy I seemed to have encouraged a few customers to enter her store (as the boredom was killing her too). 

Quote
Like 9/11, there will be a before and an after in terms of how daily life functions because of COVID-19.
-yes, I think there will definitely be changes after all the dust settles (for one: less retailers/restaurants and services). 

Quote
Did the cash-less society get ten steps closer in the span of a couple weeks?
Yes, I think so.  Many Canadians I know (like Brits, Chinese & Swedes) seem to be "okay" with our trajectory towards a "cashless society" & I think it's often not just convenience but because of "lack of funds" as "Friedsquid" points out. 
shrek999
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 09:49:14 pm »

People want to do everything like the speed of their smart phone and if they can "TAP" their card for speed they will, that may be the decrease in cash transactions, just an opinion.
I still like cash and always carry a bit, must be old fashioned as I don't like small under $10 transactions without cash. 
 
friedsquid
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 07:55:47 am »

As a side note I do find many people
Also prefer credit card transactions as
Opposed to cash because so many cards
Offer cash rebates, points or some other
Benefit
My preference is using cash
Don’t spend what you don’t have
It’s too easy to pull out a piece of plastic
I personally believe this is how so many
People find themselves in financial
Difficulties



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Northwest5
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 01:37:43 pm »

I have to agree, im a cash/debit person also.  Debit mostly as its quick and easy.  Cards can get you in trouble but they also a necessity.   
JB-2007
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 06:15:58 pm »

If i understand correctly stores are obligated to accept cash as this is legal tender
walktothewater
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2020, 11:10:12 am »

Quote
stores are obligated to accept cash as this is legal tender
- I don't think "legal tender" has anything to do with obligation (no store is obligated to sell you anything/nor take your card/cash payment) but only means that the specie (money printed) has been approved by the govt (I believe).  Bank cheques are also legal means of payment. Some countries have this statement printed on their notes -most others do not.  On a global scale I think the term is meaningless.

Quote
so many cards Offer cash rebates, points
-that (with ease/convenience) is what hooks us into the credit card habit. 
walktothewater
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 11:43:03 am »

I think it's ironic how logic seems to elude us during times such as these: people witness runs on grocery stores & must follow suit.  I did this myself. They also see others stockpile toilet paper and find themselves hoarding it too (I took pass on that one).  Subconsciously, it appeared as if many people inferred that the supply of their conveniences/goods would suddenly be cut off (like during past wars/crisis). It was like history was a great teacher.

I think the same can be said for the use of cash.  In the past, a dollar bill passed through 10's or maybe 100's of people's hands a day.  Everyone used cash far more than credit cards (& cards didn't have the incentives they have today/nor weren't available for any transaction). Plus cash (being paper) could get pretty soiled and felt pretty limp/ dirty at times.

Today (the new reality): the few plastic polymer notes ($20 most often) we have often stay in our wallets and are no longer (typically) handled by dozens of people.  Canada is one of the top 5 countries to go cashless. But suddenly many stores had "Credit/Debit Card only" signs out.

The underlying denominator that COVID 19 spreads by is a vector (or contaminated surface).  This is what travellers are most likely vulnerable to touching (& then touching face with & then having few consistent facilities to thoroughly wash hands).  While it may seem perfectly logical to stop using cash (which has a reputation for being dirty) I think more innocuous everyday surfaces (elevator buttons, door handles, tables, washroom stalls) are what we need to be careful/vigilant with (& washing afterwards).  Social distancing is still a great strategy to limit our exposure- but its contacting contaminated surfaces (& then touching our faces) that ultimately can make one a "COVID 19 statistic."
friedsquid
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 11:47:34 am »

The time will come we we bring our slabbed notes
To the grocery store and the cashiers will carefully
Cut the slab to get that corona free banknote that was
Protected for no other Reason than this pandemic



Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
AJG
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 06:53:05 am »

I agree that the pandemic is getting Canada closer and closer to the demise of cash.  I'd say, when everything returns back to normal, it won't be the same as it was a year ago, as a lot of establishments will be permanently closed, people will be laid off (many, permanently), prices will skyrocket, and people will refuse to go into a store, and will consider online shopping their new way of life.

It would be quite interesting if the $10 bill's existing demand will be erased, prompting the BoC to retire the $10 bill prematurely into its Desmond era.

By the time life returns to normal, a recession is a 100% guarantee.  Worse than 2009, in fact.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 06:57:58 am by AJG »
Seth
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2020, 01:22:43 pm »

Garage sales, craigslist, street performers, girl guide cookies, bottle returns, Remembrance Day poppies, when the power goes out, when the payment network goes down...I could go on and on. There are plenty of uses for cash and there always will be. Elimination of cash won't ever happen.

Twice now I was in the supermarket when the payment network went down, the whole store was cash only. I got to go to the front of the line with my cash while almost everyone else in the store couldn't buy their food. I rarely use cash but always have at least $100 in cash on me for just these kinds of occasions.

If we believe that the electronic payment network is infallible and will always be up and running whenever we need it, we are seriously deluding ourselves.

Track your Canadian currency online!

http://www.whereswilly.com
AL-Bob
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2020, 09:48:42 am »

Here is an American perspective but really the same story as here:

https://www.theadvocates.org/2020/03/coronavirus-being-used-to-scare-you-away-from-using-cash/

^^^ Mention of banning cash to facilitate the imposition of negative interest rates is reminiscent of the Alberta "Prosperity" Certificates.
Marc
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2020, 10:47:11 pm »

By the time life returns to normal, a recession is a 100% guarantee.  Worse than 2009, in fact.

Not a recession, a depression.  The economy (running mostly on borrowed money) was already a teetering Jenga stack well prior to the pandemic.  When you place on a graph the number of jobless claims in both Canada and the USA, the 2008-09 recession doesn't even register compared to the number of UI claims made this past month.

Expect a real estate crash & burn, too.

Back to paper money.  I'm sure that at least some of the chains that stopped accepting cash will resume doing so.  I just wonder how many will.  A place like Second Cup, for instance, I could see going cashless.

Marc :)
 

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