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  • Have you ever seen this sign (no cash accepted) in a store window and thought

    你是否有在商家櫥窗看到這標語 (不收現金) 然後思考

  • Can they do that?”


  • After all, it says right on the dollar bill: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.”


  • How can a business turn away someone who's carrying the same currency our country has used for hundreds of years?


  • Are we becoming a cashless society?


  • In an earlier episode, we talked about how money is a global game of trust.


  • The only reason a dollar bill has value is because everyone has agreed to pretend that it does.


  • And in the last half-century, this game of make-believe has evolved to a mind-bogglingly abstract level.


  • Now, instead of hoarding paper slips and hunks of metal as if they're of any use whatsoever, we walk up to a computer screen, tell it who we are, it flashes some symbols at us, and we walk away.


  • Totally confident that we'll be able to exchange that digital information for goods and services.


  • Pretty weird when you think about it.


  • Today it's estimated that less than 10% of the money in the world is cash, worth roughly 5 trillion in US dollars.

    現在估計全世界不到 10% 的錢為現金,大約值 500 萬兆美金。

  • That includes all the stacks in all the bank vaults, all the bills in your wallet, all the coins in all the couches in the world.


  • The other 55 trillion or so exists only in the minds of computers.

    剩餘的 5500 萬兆美金只存在電腦的腦中。

  • The transition isn't actually that surprising.


  • After all, we moved from gold to paper because paper is lighter and easier to carry.


  • Ones and zeroes are even lighter than paper and can travel at the speed of light.


  • So if the object is to make currency as easy to move around as possible, going digital is just the logical next step in the evolution of money.


  • Which brings us back to the cashless store.


  • Operators of these establishments claim that eliminating cash boosts productivity and efficiency.


  • Employees no longer have to make change, count bills or roll quarters.


  • Food handlers don't have to touch money teeming with bacteria and viruses.


  • And cashless registers present no incentive for theft or robbery.


  • So if going digital only makes stores faster, cleaner and safer, why are an increasing number of cities and states banning the practice?


  • Many people believe that, as well-intentioned as they may be, cashless stores amount to a form of discrimination.


  • According to the FDIC, as of 2017, 6.5% of Americans areunbanked,” meaning they have no checking or savings account, and no credit cards.

    根據美國聯邦存款保險公司,在 2017 年時,6.5% 的美國人「未開戶」,意思是他們沒有銀行帳戶也沒有信用卡。

  • That's 8.4 million households.

    數量高達 840 萬戶家庭。

  • And another 24 million areunderbanked,” which means that though they may have an account, they still rely on cash or money orders for virtually all transactions.

    另外 240 萬人為「缺乏銀行服務者」,意思是雖然他們有帳戶,但在大部分的交易仍仰賴現金。

  • These people are disproportionately likely to be poor, minorities, immigrants, or the elderly.


  • Opponents of cashless stores claim that for those in these groups, this sign may as well say, “You're not welcome here.”


  • But how can they do it, anyway?


  • If you want to run a business, don't you have to acceptlegal tender”?


  • According to the Federal Reserve, no.


  • Section 31 states thatUnited States coins and currency are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”


  • This has been interpreted to mean that creditors must accept cash for any debts owed to them, but a business owner cannot be forced to accept cash in exchange for goods and services.


  • At least, not by the federal government.


  • Cities and states are free to make their own regulations, and that's exactly what they've been doing.


  • Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Jersey have all banned cashless stores on the basis that it is discriminatory, and New York and Rhode Island are currently considering similar legislation.


  • Some owners are calling these regulationsburdensome”, which is an odd way to describe receiving money from customers.


  • And they propose that instead of forcing businesses to retain outdated practices, cities and states should focus on making electronic transactions more attainable for underprivileged groups.


  • Meanwhile, some businesses are already working on innovations to satisfy everyone.


  • Amazon Go, for instance, has retrofitted its automated checkout machines to accept cash.

    舉 Amazon Go 來說,他們已經翻新了自動結帳設備,現在已可以付現。

  • And the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has kiosks where you can exchange cash for a kind of debit card you can then use to buy your hot dogs and beer.


  • The fact is, people still value cash for a variety of reasons.


  • For one thing, it's anonymous.


  • You don't have to be a drug dealer or gunrunner to be uncomfortable with the idea of corporations and governments keeping track of every dime you spend.


  • And computers aren't 100% reliable.


  • In 2018, a hardware failure at Visa prevented millions of cardholders across Europe from making transactions for hours.

    2018 年時,Visa 的硬體當機導致歐洲數百萬卡片持有者數小時無法交易。

  • And in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, cash was the only means of payment available.


  • Cash is also used by many people as a budgeting tool.


  • When Julia and I go grocery shopping, we leave our credit cards at home and bring only as much cash as we've budgeted, so we know we won't overspend.

    當 Julia 跟我採買生活用品時,會把信用卡留在家,只帶預算內的現金出門,這樣就不會多花錢。

  • Studies have also shown that spending physical currency activates the pain centers in the brain in a way that using plastic doesn't.


  • This means that the more regularly you use cash, the more frugal you're likely to be.


  • Credit card companies seem to be aware of this fact, as they've been major proponents of the cashless movement, with Visa even offering prizes of $10,000 to small businesses that pledge to stop accepting cash as a form of payment.

    信用卡公司似乎也明白這個道理,所以他們總是無現金行動的擁護者,Visa 甚至提供 10,000 美金 (約 30 萬台幣) 給承諾停止收取現金的小型企業。

  • Though this issue has gotten a lot of public attention, the number of cashless stores in the country is still very tiny.


  • Far more are cash only.


  • 30% of all American transactions are in cash, including the majority of those under $10.

    全美 30% 的交易是以現金進行的,其中包含大多數 10 美元以下的交易。

  • There are almost 70 billion individual pieces of physical U.S. currency in circulation, and that number is going up, not down.

    市面上有 700 億美元 (約 2.1 兆台幣) 的美元在流通,且數字仍在往上,而非向下。

  • Though many experts think a cashless society is inevitable, it still seems to be a long way off.


  • Until then, we'll keep bringing it to the grocery store to shop for food.


  • Just remember to wash your hands before you make dinner.


  • And that's our two cents!


  • Thanks to our patrons for keeping Two Cents financially healthy.

    感謝贊助者讓 Two Cents 資金茁壯。

  • Click the link in the description if you'd like to support us on Patreon.


Have you ever seen this sign (no cash accepted) in a store window and thought

你是否有在商家櫥窗看到這標語 (不收現金) 然後思考

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行動支付當道!我們要邁向無現金社會了嗎? (Is Cash Going Extinct?)

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    Mackenzie 發佈於 2019 年 11 月 21 日