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The world changed during 2020 and 2021 in the way we do things. Much like the introduction of the internet but changes happened at a much faster pace. The change I’m writing about is the use of different payment methods apart from cash. The reason why I’m writing this is to prompt you into thinking about your payment method.
Cash used to be the standard for paying for stuff and of course cheques where used mainly for larger amounts. These are pretty secure and private methods of paying for things. More to the point it’s pretty private and hard but not impossible to track.
With the rise of the internet more convenient options have come to pay and that is the rise of credit card payments. I shouldn’t need to explain how it makes paying for stuff on the internet easier for the seller. Not quite the buyer who has credit card transaction fees to pay. If you don’t pay your credit card in full by the due date you also usually have a enormous interest rate to pay on the remaining balance. Credit cards also come with reward programs which are great for the credit card company usually Visa Mastercard and Amex and for the user. Not so the company offering the reward and your privacy. Companies who offer the rewards pay for the ‘privilege’ of offering rewards but they get your personal details and purchasing history. I guess all concerned are happy to pay for that.
The internet also has online payments via a fourth party e.g. Paypal. As a result your details are also given to another payment processor. They offer their services for those who want an added layer of payment security, paying in a foreign currency and don’t have a credit card. Sellers in countries that don’t have a stable banking system or unable to register for an electronic payment system also benefit from being able to take your money.
The bank transfers is another popular method for paying for things. Your privacy, is pretty good unless the person you are selling to is selling your details off as well. Of course bank transfers are not as quick and if you get the details wrong is almost impossible to get back.
The common thread of electronic transfers is that you leave a trail that many parties have access to and can interrupt. For example the run on the banks in China was caused by over zealous bankers restricting it ‘customers’ from paying parts outside their local area. Tech and phone brands who demand your identity to sell it off to other companies including any Government.
I choose to pay cash where possible as I don’t want Apple or Google to know that I enjoy a Mango and Oat Latte at a particular cafe whenever i’m in the city and certainly don’t want them to know that it usually occurs at 8am mostly on a Tuesday – unless I want them to know of course.