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robertogreco : creditcards   15

Say No to the “Cashless Future” — and to Cashless Stores | American Civil Liberties Union
"It is great to see this pushback against the supposed cashless future because this is a trend that should very much be nipped in the bud. There are several reasons why cashless stores, and a cashless society more broadly, are a bad idea. Such stores are:

Bad for privacy. When you pay cash, there is no middleman; you pay, you receive goods or services — end of story. When a middleman becomes part of the transaction, that middleman often gets to learn about the transaction — and under our weak privacy laws, has a lot of leeway to use that information as it sees fit. (Cash transactions of more than $10,000 must be reported to the government, however.) More on privacy and payment systems in a follow-up post.

Bad for low-income communities. Participation in a cashless society presumes a level of financial stability and enmeshment in bureaucratic financial systems that many people simply do not possess. Opening a bank account requires an ID, which many poor and elderly people lack, as well as other documents such as a utility bill or other proof of address, which the homeless lack, and which generally create bureaucratic barriers to participating in electronic payment networks. Banks also charge fees that can be significant for people living on the economic margins. According to government data from 2017, about one in 15 U.S. households (6.5%) were “unbanked” (had no checking or savings account), while almost one in five (18.7%) were “underbanked” (had a bank account but resorted to using money orders, check cashing, or payday loans). Finally, because merchants usually pass along the cost of credit card fees to all their customers through their prices, the current credit card system effectively serves to transfer money from poor households to high-income households, according to a study by the Federal Reserve.

Bad for people of color. The burden of lack of access to banking services such as credit cards does not fall equally. While 84% of white people in 2017 were what the Federal Reserve calls “fully banked,” only 52% of Black and 63% of Hispanic people were.
Bad for the undocumented. Facing a lack of official identity documents, not to mention all the other obstacles mentioned above, undocumented immigrants can have an even harder time accessing banking services.

Bad for many merchants. Merchants pay roughly 2-3% of every transaction to the credit card companies, which can be a significant “tax,” especially on low-margin businesses. With the credit card sector dominated by an oligopoly of 2-3 companies, there is not enough competition to keep these “swipe fees” low. Big companies have the leverage to negotiate lower fees, but small merchants are out of luck, and the amount that they pay to the credit card companies is often greater than their profit. If cashless stores are allowed to become widespread, that will harm the many merchants who either discourage or flat-out refuse to accept credit cards due to these fees.

Less resilient. The nationwide outage of electronic cash registers at Target stores several weeks ago left customers unable to make purchases — except those who had cash. That’s a reminder that electronic payments systems can mean centralized points of failure — not just technical failures like Target’s, but also security failures. A cashless society would also leave people more susceptible to economic failure on an individual basis: if a hacker, bureaucratic error, or natural disaster shuts a consumer out of their account, the lack of a cash option would leave them few alternatives.

The issue goes beyond restaurants and retail stores; other services that are built around electronic payments should also offer cash options (or cash-like anonymous stored value cards). Those include ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, bike and scooter share systems, and transit systems. In San Francisco, for example, the city’s bike-share program is providing an option to pay with cash. In DC, where I live, the Metro requires a smart card to use — but riders have the option to either register their card so that they can cancel it if it’s lost or stolen, or buy it with cash and not register it to keep it more private."

...

"What to do

So what should you do if you walk into a store and are told: “your cash is no good here”?

Register your objection. Say to the staff, “I know this isn’t your policy personally, but I think it’s a bad one, and I hope you’ll pass that along to your management. Not accepting cash is bad for privacy, bad for poor people, and bad for the undocumented.”

Refuse to provide a credit card. If you haven’t been given very clear advance notice that cash is not accepted, tell them you don’t have a credit card with you and see what they propose. There’s no law that a person has to possess a credit card or furnish one on demand. This may tie up their line, require the calling of a manger, create abandoned food that has already been prepared, and generally create inefficiencies that, if repeated among enough customers, will start to erode the advantages of going cashless for merchants.

Walk out. If you can do without, leave the establishment without buying anything after registering your objection to a staff person so they are aware they’ve lost your business over it.

Understand why some stores charge fees for credit card use. If you visit a store or restaurant that charges a higher price for credit card purchases, understand that this is a socially beneficial policy and be supportive. Merchants are explicitly permitted to pass swipe fees (also known as “interchange fees”) along to customers, which among other things is fairer to low-income customers who don’t have credit cards and shouldn’t have to absorb the costs of those cards. If you are a business, consider passing along those fees to increase fairness as well as customer awareness of how the current system works.

Contact your elected representatives. We have already seen some cities and states ban cashless stores. Your state or city can do so as well.

The bottom line is that the technocratic “dream” of a cashless society is a vision in which we discard what is left of the anonymity that has characterized urban life since the dawn of modernity, and our freedom from the power of centralized companies like banks. Doing without cash may be convenient at times, but if we lose cash as an option we’re going to regret it later."
money  privacy  technology  privilege  cashless  currency  2019  aclu  inequality  resilience  bias  business  economics  policy  siliconvalley  creditcards  cash  technocracy  technosolutionism 
4 days ago by robertogreco
David F. Noble: A Wrench in the Gears - 1/8 - YouTube
davidnoble  power  education  progressive  corporatism  highered  highereducation  documentary  rules  schools  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  cv  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  activism  authority  abuse  academia  resistance  canada  us  lobbying  israel  criticalthinking  capitalism  experience  life  living  hierarchy  oppression  collegiality  unions  self-respect  organizing  humanrights  corporatization  luddism  automation  technology  luddites  distancelearning  correspondencecourses  history  creditcards  privacy  criticaltheory  criticalpedagogy  attendance  grades  grading  assessment  experientialeducation  training  knowledge  self  self-directed  self-directedlearning  pedagogy  radicalpedagogy  alienation  authoritarianism  anxiety  instrinsicmotivation  motivation  parenting  relationships  love  canon  defiance  freedom  purpose  compulsory  liberation 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Have we officially returned to when the Robber Barons ruled? | Thom Hartmann - News & info from the #1 progressive radio show
"We know millions around nation have been screwed over by predatory lenders & fine print credit card contracts—& now are swimming in debt.  But can you believe that some of these people are actually being thrown in prison for going into debt? That’s right—American in 21st century is bringing back debtors’ prisons.  People who can’t pay off their credit cards can be thrown in jail in a third of states in our nation—& since the start of 2010—5,000+ arrest warrants have been issued against people who owe as little as $1,000 to massively profitable corporations like Capital One. <br />
<br />
So let me get this straight—a few years after the financial crisis where massive fraud was perpetrated by Wall Street—not one bankster is in jail—but 5,000 low or middle-class Americans who were screwed over by these banksters were sent to debtor’s prison?<br />
<br />
It’s official—Republicans have set our country back more than 100 years—to 1800’s—when Robber Barons ruled & our politics were corrupted to the core."
debtorprisons  thomhartmann  us  policy  economics  crime  law  wallstreet  debt  creditcards  robberbarons  2011 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Who Gains and Who Loses from Credit Card Payments? Theory and Calibrations [.pdf]
"Merchant fees & reward programs generate implicit monetary transfer to credit card users from non-card (or “cash”) users because merchants generally do not set differential prices for card users to recoup costs of fees & rewards. On average, each cash-using household pays $149 to card-using households & each card-using household receives $1,133 from cash users every year. Because credit card spending & rewards are positively correlated w/ household income, payment instrument transfer also induces regressive transfer from low-income to high-income households in general. On average, & after accounting for rewards paid to households by banks, the lowest-income household (≤$20,000 annually) pays $21 & highest-income household (≥$150,000 annually) receives $750 every year. We build & calibrate a model of consumer payment choice to compute the effects of merchant fees & card rewards on consumer welfare. Reducing merchant fees & card rewards would likely increase consumer welfare."
creditcards  finance  financial  money  wealth  subidization  transfer  economics 
november 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - RSA Animate - Crises of Capitalism
"In this RSA Animate, radical sociologist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?"
davidharvey  capitalism  economics  politics  rsaanimate  homeownership  us  culture  germany  greece  policy  banks  finance  banking  canon  housing  worldbank  imf  neoliberalism  liberalism  alangreenspan  marxism  instability  systemicrisk  capitalaccumulation  crisis  labor  capital  1970s  1980s  unions  offshoring  power  wagerepression  wages  credit  creditcards  debt  personaldebt  2010  limits  greed  profits  industry  london  uk  latinamerica  wealth  india  china  inequality  incomeinequality  wealthinequality  hedgefunds 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Square
"In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint.

Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily. We’re starting with a limited beta and rolling out to everyone in early 2010."
android  iphone  ipad  payment  processing  creditcards  credit  ecommerce  commerce  glvo  applications  business  mobile  money  design  services  retail  twitter  technology  tools  ios 
may 2010 by robertogreco
TED Blog: Alan Siegel's credit card agreement redesign
"In his 2010 TEDTalk, Alan Siegel called for a simple, sensible redesign of legal paperwork -- to make it intelligible to the rest of us. Here's one of the redesigned documents he showed: a sample credit card agreement which is easy to understand and, dare we say, pretty?"
simplicity  creditcards  agreements  legal  thewayitshouldbedone  financial  alansiegal 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Square Mobile Credit Card System (Beta) | Wired.com Product Reviews
"Physically, the Square is a small, plastic cube about the size of two Chiclets. From its bottom side an audio connector plugs into the headphone port on your phone. A slot in the cube lets you pass a credit card through. When you do, a reader converts the data from the magnetic strip into an audio signal and passes it on to software on the phone."
iphone  currency  economics  ecommerce  business  mobile  money  apple  creditcards  commerce  applications  ios 
february 2010 by robertogreco
John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer | Video on TED.com
"John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending."
trends  johngerzema  community  volunteerism  crisis  ideas  consumer  ted  consumerism  values  savings  conspicuousconsumption  quality  transparency  business  travel  mobility  liquidity  value  libraries  cable  sharing  lending  learning  education  continuingeducation  diy  urbanfarming  sustainability  infrastructure  environment  creditcards  cooperation  trust  crowdsourcing  artisinal  glvo  localcurrency  green  consumption  kogi  carrotmobs  incentives  twitter  ethics  fairplay  empathy  respect 
october 2009 by robertogreco
My Personal Credit Crisis - NYTimes.com
"If there was anybody who should have avoided the mortgage catastrophe, it was I. As an economics reporter for The New York Times, I have been the paper’s chief eyes and ears on the Federal Reserve for the past six years. I watched Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, at close range. I wrote several early-warning articles in 2004 about the spike in go-go mortgages. Before that, I had a hand in covering the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russia meltdown in 1998 and the dot-com collapse in 2000. I know a lot about the curveballs that the economy can throw at us. But in 2004, I joined millions of otherwise-sane Americans in what we now know was a catastrophic binge on overpriced real estate and reckless mortgages. Nobody duped or hypnotized me. Like so many others — borrowers, lenders and the Wall Street dealmakers behind them — I just thought I could beat the odds."

[See some follow-up here: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/05/new-york-times-crashed-and-burned-and-smoking-watch-ombudsman-clark-hoyt-edition.html ]
crisis  housingbubble  credit  creditcrunch  creditcards  2009  journalism  economics  foreclosures  mortgages 
may 2009 by robertogreco
iPhone Merchant Account Program - iPhone Credit Card Terminal
"Processing credit cards using your Apple iPhone or iTouch is a fast and easy way for your business to accept credit cards anywhere with our iPhone merchant account program. Credit Card Processing Services, in conjunction with Inner Fence, Merchant Focus, Authorize.Net®, and Global Payments has developed a seamless iPhone interface program so that you can instantly accept all of the major credit cards and check cards including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Card for your mobile business. There is No Setup Cost and our merchant agreement is Month to Month so you are not locked into any long term contracts like many merchant account companies. We call our excellent iPhone program CCTerminal."
ccterminal  creditcards  iphone  application  business  glvo  money  applications  commerce  paypal  ecommerce  processing  banking  credit  mobile  ios 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Rethinking the American Dream | vanityfair.com
"what about outmoded proposition that each successive generation in US must live better than one that preceded it?...no longer applicable to an American middle class that lives more comfortably than any...before...I’m no champion of downward mobility, but time has come to consider the idea of simple continuity: perpetuation of a contented, sustainable middle-class way of life, where standard of living remains happily constant from one generation to next. American Dream should require hard work...not require 80-hour workweeks & parents who never see kids from across dinner table...should entail first-rate education for every child not an education that leaves no extra time for actual enjoyment of childhood...should accommodate goal of home ownership without imposing lifelong burden of unmeetable debt. Above all...should be embraced as unique sense of possibility that this country gives its citizens—the decent chance, as Moss Hart would say, to scale the walls & achieve what you wish."
us  americandream  capitalism  sustainability  debt  education  happiness  well-being  society  culture  economics  history  money  identity  ideology  sociology  crisis  markets  families  homeownership  generations  upwardmobility  freedom  success  aspiration  credit  creditcards 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Transactions iPhone
"Transactions makes credit card processing away from the home or office effortless. Using two of the most popular payment gateways in the world Transactions allows anyone to easily accept credit cards.
iphone  applications  commerce  paypal  ecommerce  processing  banking  credit  creditcards  business  mobile  glvo  via:jessebrand  ios 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Worst Is Yet To Come: Anonymous Banker Weighs In On The Coming Credit Card Debacle - Executive Suite Blog - NYTimes.com
"Today, we are bailing out the banks because of their greedy and deceptive lending practices in the mortgage industry. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More is coming, I’m sorry to say. Layoffs are being announced nationwide in the tens of thousands. As people begin to lose their jobs, they will not be able to pay their credit card bills either. And the banks will be back for more handouts."
creditcrunch  credit  creditcards  bailout  banking  recession  crisis  2008  finance  economics  business  money  debt 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Make a Faraday Cage Wallet - Wired How-To Wiki
"You already have your tin foil hat, and you're pretty sure no one can find you on the Google. However, there's one detail you may not have thought of, and that's those pesky RFID chips. RFID tags identifying who and -- gasp! —- where you are can be found in passports, ATM cards, credit cards and some state-issued ID cards. The same technology will possibly even be used in paper money in the near future. With the right equipment, these chips can be read from afar by data snoops or your friendly government official. A Faraday cage is sufficient for blocking such eavesdropping. Here's how to hide yourself from both the baddies and The Man."
RFID  security  technology  tinfoilhat  wallets  passports  creditcards  identity 
october 2008 by robertogreco

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