Social Cooling - and the long-term effects it might have.

Sid

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My bank still has offices spread over the country for if you need advice, a morgage etc, but no teller machines and no possibility to get cash. They are a cash free Bank. That makes the bank much safer for employees.
The teller machines they still have, are only situated in shopping centers and big shops and supermarkets. And of course I can use all money machines from all other banks as well.
 
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Kara Spengler

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Dutch coffee shops are all cash only.
But that is because you don't go for coffee to a coffee shop over here, but for a joint. And because of the tricky legal situation of these shops, they need cash to buy their cannabis.
It is the same way here in the US. Since more states are legalizing MJ all the time but the feds stubbornly refuse to change on it every company involved with that business is cash only. For a small shop it is more of an oddity (although a pain for the business) but I am sure it is more of a problem the larger you get.
 
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danielravennest

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Unbanked people do exist.
About 1/3 of people in the US are "unbanked" or "underbanked" (don't have a bank account at all, or can't get some regular bank services). My long-time tenant, and now buyer of my old house is one of them. She has to get a money order to make her payment every month. She doesn't have access to bank loans. So how she is buying the house was I credited part of her rent towards a down payment, and last year it was enough to sign a purchase contract.
 
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danielravennest

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Not bitcoin? That works well for buying cannabis, or so I am told.
Dark Web markets for buying drugs are safer than buying on street-corners, and they use bitcoin. But even at their peak popularity, they only represented 3% of bitcoin transactions, about the same that illegal drugs as a share of GDP are worldwide. US dollars are still by far the most popular way to pay for drugs worldwide.

The vast majority of bitcoin transactions are fools selling them to greater fools. I say that as someone who was an early bitcoin miner and sold out during the 2017-18 price bubble.
 

Chalice Yao

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In central London loads of coffee shops and small business owners are debit/credit card payments or phone wallet only. No cash. they're closing cash points and banks here there and everywhere.
And once no paper cash is in circulation anymore, and no more is being printed - with classic cash essentialyl being gone - the banks can raise all kinds of fees as much as they want, while dropping costs. There will be no way anymore around *not* paying them, unless politicians step in.

....given how, during the last housing economy crash, the banks were saved from all sides instead of left in the holes they dug for themselves, and how those responisble pretty much got off with less than a slap on the wrist, we know how probable that is.
 
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Katheryne Helendale

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Here in NL, if you want a salary, pension or social security you need a bank account. Cash and check payments for these things are non existent any more for at least 30 years already. The only cash salary payments made are when both sides agree to avoid tax and other overhead payments (that is of course illegal), but it happens occasionally.
If you want cash, you need a bank card and a nearby bank or store with a teller machine.
It's like that in pretty much most of the US as well. Since the early 90's, the military required its members to use direct deposit, and in both jobs I've held since my Navy days, I had to fill out a direct deposit form when I got hired. That's not to say paper checks don't exist anymore - they do, but they're getting rare. Even though my current pay is direct-deposited, I get my mileage reimbursements by paper check in the mail, which I then take pictures of with my phone and deposit it to my account electronically.
 
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Tigger

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Not everyone does that though. We may think that is the norm just because it is the norm in the circles we run in.

I got to see the other side of that fence when I was in grad school. A friend would get paid by check, walk several miles to the bank it was written on, exchange the check for cash, then hide the cash in her apartment. Unbanked people do exist.
There are also people who, while technically not 'unbanked', are unable to use any of the modern facilities of a bank. I know my mum and a few of her friends fit into that category. They have a bank account but have no realistic access to a cashless life.

They don't own computers or smartphones and couldn't use them even if they did, find themselves unable to deal with the menu systems of phone banking, struggle at times to pay in a shop via a card as they have issues remembering pin numbers or using the pin terminals to pay, and even struggle with the use of ATMs.

Luckily my mum can usually use an ATM but prefers it if I go with her to get money. She withdraws a weeks worth of cash at a time. A friend of hers does the same but via the cashier at the bank counter as she cannot understand ATMs. Both of them like to use cheques but almost no one accepts those anymore.

Life grows increasingly hard for people like this as Banks and even ATMs close and stores introduce self service checkouts, which may as well be nuclear reactors for all the chance they have of operating them. I know my mum has put down a basket of shopping and walked out of a store because there was no manned checkout at the time.
 
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Kara Spengler

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There are also people who, while technically not 'unbanked', are unable to use any of the modern facilities of a bank. I know my mum and a few of her friends fit into that category. They have a bank account but have no realistic access to a cashless life.

They don't own computers or smartphones and couldn't use them even if they did, find themselves unable to deal with the menu systems of phone banking, struggle at times to pay in a shop via a card as they have issues remembering pin numbers or using the pin terminals to pay, and even struggle with the use of ATMs.

Luckily my mum can usually use an ATM but prefers it if I go with her to get money. She withdraws a weeks worth of cash at a time. A friend of hers does the same but via the cashier at the bank counter as she cannot understand ATMs. Both of them like to use cheques but almost no one accepts those anymore.

Life grows increasingly hard for people like this as Banks and even ATMs close and stores introduce self service checkouts, which may as well be nuclear reactors for all the chance they have of operating them. I know my mum has put down a basket of shopping and walked out of a store because there was no manned checkout at the time.
Those automated checkout lines are bad news for the workers at the location too. The grocery store next to me puts more and more in .... however I have not used them in awhile on purpose. Whether I am getting 20 items or 2.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Those automated checkout lines are bad news for the workers at the location too. The grocery store next to me puts more and more in .... however I have not used them in awhile on purpose. Whether I am getting 20 items or 2.
What about online supermarket shopping? To my mind, that's a bigger threat to the long-term future of bricks-and-mortar supermarket shopping, at least on its present scale, and thus of their stuff, too, than are automated checkout lines.
 

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Economists first actively served the interests of the nation-state. Their concerns were limited: how to increase national wealth and how do things acquire value. The growing prominence of private enterprise has meant the emergence of mercenary economists--those who will enable companies to creatively minimize loss/maximize profit. Of late, the profit-loss concern has subsumed the question of user data. Economics has always been interested in human behavior, but with user data companies, "entrepreneurs," and economists are now able to treat us more like lab rats. The nation-state isn't out of the picture. Governments collect massive amounts of data in the name of national security, whereas private enterprises do so in the name better serving their customers (See: Principles of Macroeconomics). Either way, we are not just being monitored but also manipulated constantly.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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In central London loads of coffee shops and small business owners are debit/credit card payments or phone wallet only. No cash. they're closing cash points and banks here there and everywhere.
...and also more and more of those shops are introducing a minimum charge amount right now which you need to pay due to the transaction fees for those wonderful payment systems.
 
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Kara Spengler

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What about online supermarket shopping? To my mind, that's a bigger threat to the long-term future of bricks-and-mortar supermarket shopping, at least on its present scale, and thus of their stuff, too, than are automated checkout lines.
Unfortunately there is no escaping that. My only close alternative is target. DC does not have stores, like you would find in a smaller town, it has shoppes (read boutiques). For all the bad online shopping is though, at least it keeps humans employed (even in bad conditions in the warehouses) unlike automated checkouts which take away jobs.
 
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OrinB

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...and also more and more of those shops are introducing a minimum charge amount right now which you need to pay due to the transaction fees for those wonderful payment systems.
They're legally not allowed to do that here now. They're not allowed to add the card transaction cost to the price of the goods. All transaction charges and cash costs need to be included as a cost of doing business.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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I might have described it bad; what I've noticed during my last stay in London is that some shops started to only process cashless payments starting giving a certain amount; otherwise they won't take any.
 
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OrinB

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I might have described it bad; what I've noticed during my last stay in London is that some shops started to only process cashless payments starting giving a certain amount; otherwise they won't take any.
There is no legal reason not to impose a minimum spend on card payments. However it does go against a few of the contracts the payment companies (especially mastercard and VIsa) have with the merchant. It's not really in the best interest of the shop to impose a minimum spend and only have card payments available.

The legal ban is now on card surcharges. Either in online payments or when added on by the store at pos.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I might have described it bad; what I've noticed during my last stay in London is that some shops started to only process cashless payments starting giving a certain amount; otherwise they won't take any.
Do you mean that they will accept cashless/cards only for transactions over £5 (or however much), and if you want to buy something for less than that, it has to be cash?

That makes sense, since if you're running a place where most customers pay in cash, you rely on customers to keep you well-stocked with coins and smaller notes during the business day. So if you allow people to pay with cards for everything, that's going to increase the risk of running out of change during the middle of the day and having to send someone out to the bank to collect more, which is a major pain in the neck.
 
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Ashiri

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Unfortunately there is no escaping that. My only close alternative is target. DC does not have stores, like you would find in a smaller town, it has shoppes (read boutiques). For all the bad online shopping is though, at least it keeps humans employed (even in bad conditions in the warehouses) unlike automated checkouts which take away jobs.
A purely online store will have far less need for shelf stackers. A store that has only automatic checkouts without supervision will find they lose money through theft. Working out which results in fewer jobs is not so clear cut.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Unfortunately there is no escaping that. My only close alternative is target. DC does not have stores, like you would find in a smaller town, it has shoppes (read boutiques). For all the bad online shopping is though, at least it keeps humans employed (even in bad conditions in the warehouses) unlike automated checkouts which take away jobs.
I'm not saying that people should avoid online supermarket shopping -- far from it. We all of us end up making lots of compromises in our lives, after all, and while I will normally try to use local businesses when they provide a practical alternative to the supermarket -- the local butcher, or baker, for example, or the nearby street market -- but most of the time I'm not going to schlep round the local supermarket if it's something I can just as easily order online and have delivered.
 
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Kara Spengler

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I'm not saying that people should avoid online supermarket shopping -- far from it. We all of us end up making lots of compromises in our lives, after all, and while I will normally try to use local businesses when they provide a practical alternative to the supermarket -- the local butcher, or baker, for example, or the nearby street market -- but most of the time I'm not going to schlep round the local supermarket if it's something I can just as easily order online and have delivered.
Exactly, since I do not drive my range of easy-to-get-to local stores is pretty limited. I use them when I can but when I need something I can not get locally I do not have many options. Plus not all of my online shopping is from places like amazon (although that is a large part of it) .... when I am getting a new computer my preference is to order it from a small chain (<6 stores) in Vermont/New Hampshire. Yes, it costs more and is not as fast but I am supporting a small local economy and it is someplace that donates part of their proceeds to charities.
 
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