MOre and more we are being forced to pay by card. Business is moving rapidly to a cashless society. Cash remains legal tender but if we present it for payment it is refused. To be told that money is no longer acceptable currency is causing widespread problems.
Technological change is with us and we will have to accept new ways of doing things. To survive in the modern world it seems necessary to have mobile phone. If you tell people you do not have one they look at you with both disdain and pity. Once you have the phone you are the bombarded at every point, with every company wanting you to have their “App”. You could end up with thousands of these together with a multitude of passwords. We are advised not to write down these security details and to change them on a frequent basis. This is far more complicated that just paying by cash.
What we are all experiencing is the computer fraud is increasing. On one day last week I had 22 messages in spam. I had been informed that I had won multiple prizes including a new air fryer. Several parcels were waiting for me to answer a few simple questions so they could be released for delivery to me. Naturally I deleted them all. For many, particularly the elderly and those trying to cope with the current cost of living crisis having a mobile phone is not possible. My own mobile phone cost £200 and it is not top of the range. I also pay £10 per month. Thus the total cost this year will be £332. Such a sum is beyond many people. Recent statistics claimed that one in 20 adults are struggling to find enough money to feed themselves. The priority for very many people in our society is just trying to find enough money to keep a roof over their heads, heat their accommodation and feed themselves and their family. Mobile phone ownership is thus not a priority.
Bank credit cards and debit cards are only available to those whose credit rating is acceptable to those issuing the cards. The poorest in society will not qualify. If you are poor and do not have any form of card to use and no mobile phone you can only enter commercial activity by using cash. This section of society is being left out in the cold.
If we claim to be a caring democratic society we have a duty to be inclusive. The quality of any society should be judged on how it cares for all of its citizens. With cash machines being closed and card transactions being the sole means of trade many are isolated from normal life. What is certain is that the computer society is far from ideal. Going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription item, my wife was told by the shop assistant that although the item was on the shelf a few feet from her she could not get it because her hand-held computer pad was offline. Pen and pencil and items in alphabetical order would have been so much simpler.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if people refused to accept the situation and demanded that outlets took cash. Perhaps I am being naive in demanding that legislation should be brought in to make it law that all shops should offer the choice of cash or card payments. As a society we need to see that the advance of technological change works in the best interests of the whole population. If you are forced to contact an organisation by phone to sort out a problem beware of the automated voice that says it will help you but in fact has a very limited range of options. We need human contact in the digital age of robotics. Cash please.