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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:30 am 
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I don't feel foreign at all in societies that "still" uses mostly cash like Germany, Switzerland, USA or Japan. Sweden used to be like that as well, and that's the Sweden I grew up with. It's a fact that it was only a few years ago that this cashless society thing started, no matter how much some people try to pretend it's always been like this. So this whole "the culture is so different" kind of talk is just ridiculous, as there is no truth in it.

Being in Japan I'm very relieved how smoothly cash is still handled. Cash exchange machines are common (almost extinct in Sweden), and you can still pay with cash on the bus. In Stockholm the bus/train not only stopped accepting cash, they don't even take credit cards. You need either a prepaid ticket (which of course visitors usually don't have) or download a bloated smartphone app with included spyware to buy the bloody thing (which again foreigners might not have). This means if you live in the outskirts and your prepaid ticket or commuter pass has been used up/expired, you will have to plead to the bus driver let you go to the station so you can buy another frikkin ticket. Sometimes the bus driver don't let you, and then you are f***ed. Their defence is that they are afraid of robbers so they can't handle cash anymore (no explanation why they can't handle credit cards). SL are just a bunch of pussies all of them.

When I was a kid banks used to have a coin machine that you emptied your piggy bank in. But now they don't anymore. What good is a bank that doesn't even want money?


tepples wrote:
Friction when setting up accounts
Someone cannot use Internet services at home to set up Internet services at home for the first time.
Yes this the main reason I'm against making internet services the only option. I'm all for internet services where it makes sense, I pay all my bills on the internet in Sweden while in Japan I have to use up my free time whenever I need to do something bureaucracy-related. But when they cancel offline services so that you always depends on a working internet at all times (for not mentioning cutting off elder people not comfortable using a computer or smartphone), you are going too far. Sweden is very good at this (making more online services available) but also very bad at it (going too far sometimes).

tepples wrote:
Inability for minors and recent secondary graduates to participate in the economy
Banks require the primary holder of an account to be an adult and show government ID. This means that a parent must do all of a child's spending on the child's behalf. In addition, a recent graduate from high school[1] may not already have government ID. Someone not interested in learning to drive or whose parents don't drive may have little opportunity to obtain an ID, as some countries do not issue non-driver IDs for domestic use. Though U.S. states issue non-driver IDs, conversation with a British citizen in the Cireclinlin chat server on Discord revealed that Britain issues only driver's licenses and passports, and a passport is expensive.
I don't remember having an ID was ever a problem in Sweden as you could always get a passport (which isn't very expensive) until you are old enough to get a driver's license. But getting a credit card usually requires you to be 18 years old. It was no problem when I was a kid because, the cashless society just didn't exist back then. I have no idea how it is being a kid nowdays.

tepples wrote:
Friction when accepting payments
Cashless payments require a connection to the Internet. This usually requires the buyer to own and carry an Internet-connected device unless the seller has a chip card reader. In addition, either the seller or buyer must subscribe to Internet access, and even if a buyer subscribes to home Internet, a buyer must often open a second subscription with a cellular ISP in order to make payments away from home. Card payment processors tend to take a 30 cent transaction fee plus 3 percent of the total, raising prices for everyone and making small transactions impractical; hence a $5 minimum purchase at some merchants. Furthermore, banks and payment facilitators tend to make person-to-person remittances more difficult than with established merchants. Ostensibly this is to curb tax fraud and terrorism financing. But it interferes with birthday or Christmas gifts, a child's allowance, or payment for occasional odd jobs that are not large or often enough to justify the annual fee for a full-scale merchant account.
A law that prevents sellers from taking transaction fees was made in Sweden. In fact I think that the cashless society took off around this time. Probably things became smoother for the seller as well during this time, or else the cashless society wouldn't work at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:51 am 
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Pokun wrote:
I don't remember having an ID was ever a problem in Sweden as you could always get a passport (which isn't very expensive) until you are old enough to get a driver's license.

In the United States, the word "passport" means an internationally valid passport with visa pages, which costs about 200 USD, as opposed to a domestic ID. The several states provide the latter for generally 10 to 15 USD but are required to provide one without charge to eligible voters if a state requires ID to vote. Britain does not issue domestic ID at all; it issues only international passports and driver's licenses.

Pokun wrote:
I have no idea how it is being a kid nowdays.

If "Pocket money apps aim to help kids in cashless world" by Kelvin Chan is any indication, a child needs a parent to buy him or her a smartphone or tablet on which to run a wallet application. The article mentions "prepaid cards", and last I checked, prepaid cards not tied to a traditional draft/checking account tended to be loaded with annual fees, balance inquiry fees, outbound transfer fees, and the like.

Pokun wrote:
A law that prevents sellers from taking transaction fees was made in Sweden.

If the seller must not pass this cost through to the buyer, then when who absorbs the fee that the bank charges? If the law requires the seller to absorb this fee for any order amount, than anyone with more time than money could perform a denial of service on a seller by repeatedly placing orders with small totals (circa 1 USD).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:36 am 
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tepples wrote:
Pokun wrote:
I don't remember having an ID was ever a problem in Sweden as you could always get a passport (which isn't very expensive) until you are old enough to get a driver's license.

In the United States, the word "passport" means an internationally valid passport with visa pages, which costs about 200 USD, as opposed to a domestic ID. The several states provide the latter for generally 10 to 15 USD but are required to provide one without charge to eligible voters if a state requires ID to vote. Britain does not issue domestic ID at all; it issues only international passports and driver's licenses.
Wow that was expensive. In Sweden the fee for a internationally valid passport is 350 crowns (about 39 USD) and it currently lasts 5 years. You can get a domestic ID, but really there is no reason to do so as it has no use other than being an ID. A passport can be used to travel with and a driver's license of course you can drive with besides doubling as an ID. Many young people in Stockholm don't have a driver's license nowdays though as you hardly need it in town, these people might be getting a domestic ID. I never had a domestic ID as I got a driver's license.

Pokun wrote:
I have no idea how it is being a kid nowdays.

tepples wrote:
If "Pocket money apps aim to help kids in cashless world" by Kelvin Chan is any indication, a child needs a parent to buy him or her a smartphone or tablet on which to run a wallet application. The article mentions "prepaid cards", and last I checked, prepaid cards not tied to a traditional draft/checking account tended to be loaded with annual fees, balance inquiry fees, outbound transfer fees, and the like.
In Sweden there is this spyware-infested smartphone bloatware called "Swish" that FrankenGraphics mentioned. I don't know if underage can use it though.

Pokun wrote:
A law that prevents sellers from taking transaction fees was made in Sweden.

tepples wrote:
If the seller must not pass this cost through to the buyer, then when who absorbs the fee that the bank charges? If the law requires the seller to absorb this fee for any order amount, than anyone with more time than money could perform a denial of service on a seller by repeatedly placing orders with small totals (circa 1 USD).
I don't really know how it works, but I guess the power that promotes the cashless society somehow made things easier somehow, maybe they absorbs the fee in some fashion.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:37 am 
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koitsu wrote:
Don't any of you cashless or near-cashless folks have concerns over banks and/or corporations that manage said devices disabling your access, or something erroneous happening digitally? Speaking for myself: I'm wary of putting my entire financial well-being into an exclusive digital medium.
Depending on how severely you are talking about here, my answer ranges from "not really" to "having cash on me doesn't change that".
I mean banks as they are, are already completely 100% in control of my economy, and that of everyone else in the world. If they wanted to break me off from my money, and were able to get away with it, they could do it. And me having some cash wouldn't make a difference. I mean, if I needed to get cash to pay for whatever, I'd still rely on the bank to even take out the cash in the first place, right?

As for just moment to moment issues with payments, I've relied entirely on cards for the past 19 years of my life, and never had any problems, so I don't really see any reason to worry.
Of course minor issues do occasionally rise, but they rarely have consequences.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:12 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
I don't feel foreign at all in societies that "still" uses mostly cash like Germany, Switzerland, USA or Japan. Sweden used to be like that as well, and that's the Sweden I grew up with. It's a fact that it was only a few years ago that this cashless society thing started, no matter how much some people try to pretend it's always been like this. So this whole "the culture is so different" kind of talk is just ridiculous, as there is no truth in it.

The problem when an influencing group changes something is that at first it just feels like a forced change, but then 30 years later, it ends up being geniunely "the culture is so different". This might be sad or disgusting but the very fact you use "still" means people are thinking their new way is "modern" and thag going back to what was previously used (in this case, cash) is unthinkable.

The same could be said for many so called "modern" things, such as gay marriage, lagalizing drugs, or whatever. At least this doesn't lead to world standardization and unification, as almost everything else leads to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:51 pm 
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Yeah people (read: young people that grew up in big cities) are proud of it, thinks it's modern like you said and looks down on countries and people that mainly use cash. I just think that's stupid because I don't see so many advantages with a cashless society while I do see a lot of disadvantages.

I'm not against electronic money at all, I've been an avid user of cards, Paypal etc for a long time and I do see a great advantage in the fact that you can use cards almost everywhere in Sweden nowdays. Even in Japan things have become better and foreign cards are more often accepted which is just great when you don't happen to have enough cash.

What I'm against is that the cashless society tries to remove cash as a payment option (see the rest of the thread for a list of all the disadvantages). And now suddenly there are places that stops accepting cash and only takes card. There are also places and situations when cash is still required but they are getting rare. When people comes to such a situation they are baffled by the fact (no matter how many times they come) and claims that it's the first time they've seen something like that (liars).
And when people try to keep pressuring me into installing bloatware like "Swish" I get irritated, I see no advantage in that over cards, it just slows down my phone.

One obvious disadvantage with cash is the fact that coins are heavy, and having too much coins on you is a hassle. The current smallest coin in Sweden is the 1 crown coin (1 SEK) and it used to be quite heavy for how much it's worth (the SEK has weakened quite fast). But lately all coins except the 10 crown coin has been renewed for a smaller much lighter one so coins are no longer heavier than Japanese coins (which are very light). So this one disadvantage is now pretty much gone.
By the way the renewal process was another big fiasco where people weren't given enough time to exchange in their old coins and bills for the new ones, and as banks refused to accept cash it was chaos. When criticized that the time wasn't anywhere near enough for an operation as big as this they just came with excuses and insisted they'd given enough time. Making you think the ones taking these kinds of decisions are five years old.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Pokun wrote:
One obvious disadvantage with cash is the fact that coins are heavy, and having too much coins on you is a hassle. The current smallest coin in Sweden is the 1 crown coin (1 SEK) and it used to be quite heavy for how much it's worth (the SEK has weakened quite fast). But lately all coins except the 10 crown coin has been renewed for a smaller much lighter one so coins are no longer heavier than Japanese coins (which are very light). So this one disadvantage is now pretty much gone.

To be honest if you know to use them properly, coins are not a problem at all. The problem is that many people don't know how to use them.

Let's say you have to pay $12.65 and you only have a $20 bill and some coins in your wallet. Most people are going to pay with the $20 bill only. What you're supposed to do is look at your coins, and see if you can give the extra $0.65 with your coins. If you can, then give the $0.65 and the seller will return you $8 hapilly. This is much simpler than if he had to return you $8.35.

Also in most of europe, they have €0.01 coins which are annoying, in Poland they also have those 0.01PLN coins. Here the minimum is 0.05 CHF which is annoying, but still less worse, as 0.02 and 0.01 CHF coins have been removed in the 1960s.

I understand people prefer to pay without cash, but I could never understand if anybody refused to take cash as a mean of payment. That seems like to be annoying on purpose.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:22 pm 
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Bregalad wrote:
as 0.02 and 0.01 CHF coins have been removed in the 1960s.
I still found 1-centime bouncing around when I visited in 2006, albeit almost entirely as novelty items. It looks like they were only officially removed from circulation in 2007.

I also found 5-Franc coins to be so heavy as to be hard to justify carrying. (and less pretty than 10-franc notes)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:23 pm 
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"We don't take cash" might be code word for any of these:

- Our customers' average order is large enough that the time and service cost of cash handling exceeds the fee that our card processor charges
- We prefer that customers make large orders
- We don't serve unbanked poor people [whisper]such as ethnic minorities[/whisper]

In any case, under U.S. law, in order not to take cash, a business has to make only prepaid transactions. This is because a postpaid transaction (such as paying after a restaurant meal) incurs a debt, making the business a creditor, and authentic coins and paper money are "legal tender", or an offer of payment that a creditor isn't allowed to refuse.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:58 pm 
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tepples wrote:
"We don't take cash" might be code word for any of these:

- Our customers' average order is large enough that the time and service cost of cash handling exceeds the fee that our card processor charges


Or in a mostly cash-less society, it could easily be:
- the time and service cost of cash handling isn't worth the profit from the tenth of a percent of customers we'd lose otherwise

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:29 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
Albeit not quite the same thing as a bank doing it, is PayPal just suddenly deciding to reject your access to your account/disable people's cards, for whatever reason they see fit (sometimes political!)

So it's not just me, then? PayPal won't take my money. Never has. No idea why.

I was unable to contribute to the last NesDev fundraiser because of this. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:49 pm 
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Rahsennor wrote:
So it's not just me, then? PayPal won't take my money. Never has. No idea why.

It is not just you. This happens to **many** people. The stories all vary:

- Won't allow people to make an account for various weird reasons
- Allows people to make an account but won't allow them to add a particular back-end system (bank account, credit card, etc.)
- Downright rejecting a particular back-end payment option despite it being OK/functional (almost feels like "bank/credit card company blacklisting")
- Account verification process results in rejection for unknown reasons
- After account creation, PayPal follows up with the user to request more information -- wanting certain things that they actually do not need. I've had personal IRL friends experience this one repeatedly. They don't just ask for "other forms of ID" (i.e. they are not trying to confirm identity), but they start asking for other financial-related things and sometimes even things like proof of weddings or employment status or whatever else
- Locking people's accounts permanently, and then not allowing them to get their money (i.e. PayPal is literally holding on to all money in their account, no matter if the lockdown was caused by a single transaction or not). This is probably the most common one I've seen reported. Getting PayPal to relinquish your funds is EXTREMELY tedious and difficult, and in many cases can take up to something like 6+ months depending on the circumstance, and in other cases I've read, *never* relinquishing the funds (I don't even know how this is legal, but it really does depend on their terms of service)
- General support problems -- getting a response from Support is painful, and in cases of the above, they often will take however long they want to "review a situation" and then give you an answer which you can or can't repeal (depends on the situation). They operate a lot like how a state's unemployment department would, it's very weird

I don't want this to turn into a PayPal bashing session or get off-topic. But FWIW, I've had a PayPal account for 19 years (I chcked) and I've run into literally *zero* problems with them and do a LOT of PayPal transactions. I've been super happy with them. But I am always sure to keep my account balance at $0.00 with them because I do not trust storing my money there. I use them solely as an "online payment option/processor", as I don't like providing E-commerce sites with my direct credit card number for security reasons. I also used them for Parodius donations (separate from my personal PayPal account), which was super easy to set up and PayPal gave me no trouble.

My point is that PayPal acting this way is a perfect example of why US citizens tend to defend use of cash -- it may be tender the government prints, but it's something accepted nearly everywhere, and it *works* even if a system is down. And furthermore, you ABSOLUTELY can survive living purely with cash (stockpiling it somewhere in a safe, etc.) and holding a full-time job (no direct deposit etc.), though it does help to have a bank or credit union account.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:41 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
This might be sad or disgusting but the very fact you use "still" means people are thinking their new way is "modern" and thag going back to what was previously used (in this case, cash) is unthinkable.


You kind of sound like all the people going "why can't you just call someone you want to talk to?" back when text messaging starting becoming a thing on phones. :P


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:31 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
Pokun wrote:
One obvious disadvantage with cash is the fact that coins are heavy, and having too much coins on you is a hassle. The current smallest coin in Sweden is the 1 crown coin (1 SEK) and it used to be quite heavy for how much it's worth (the SEK has weakened quite fast). But lately all coins except the 10 crown coin has been renewed for a smaller much lighter one so coins are no longer heavier than Japanese coins (which are very light). So this one disadvantage is now pretty much gone.

To be honest if you know to use them properly, coins are not a problem at all. The problem is that many people don't know how to use them.

Let's say you have to pay $12.65 and you only have a $20 bill and some coins in your wallet. Most people are going to pay with the $20 bill only. What you're supposed to do is look at your coins, and see if you can give the extra $0.65 with your coins. If you can, then give the $0.65 and the seller will return you $8 hapilly. This is much simpler than if he had to return you $8.35.

Also in most of europe, they have €0.01 coins which are annoying, in Poland they also have those 0.01PLN coins. Here the minimum is 0.05 CHF which is annoying, but still less worse, as 0.02 and 0.01 CHF coins have been removed in the 1960s.
Yeah maybe one reason some people hate cash is because they can't count coins properly. This skill will be a lost art, and when young people come to a cash country they will get into trouble.
In Japan it's essential that you do it like you explained or you will end up with lots of 1 yen coins that, while extremely light, can't really be used for anything, vending machines usually doesn't take lower than 10 yen coins. 5 yen coins are useful in shrines though.

But really the coins in Sweden was much too heavy until the recent renewal. We used to have smaller coins called öre (1 öre = 0.01 SEK). When I was a kid the 1 and 5 öre coins were already out of use but 10, 25 and 50 öre still existed. The 1 crown and bigger coins were expensive and therefore large and heavy. Now the crown is cheaper and the öre coins are all gone. The 1 crown is the smallest coin left while still being very heavy until recently.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:29 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
It is not just you. This happens to **many** people. The stories all vary:

Yup, that's me. I don't even want to make an account, just pay for something with my credit card. I'm perfectly happy not giving them my money, since they clearly don't want it, but some sellers don't provide any other payment option.

And that's my beef with the "cashless society" - people can unilaterally exclude you from it.


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