Conspiracy theorists arise!
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, so why not have one that deals with something near and dear to us, our money. But not just our money, but how we spend it as well.
If that doesn’t catch your eye, and wallet, what will???
There are a few things we do on a daily basis, eat, drink, sleep, and other bodily habits, and we also spend money. Maybe not every day, but just about every day. Did you ever try to go a week without spending a penny?
Some of us will earn a small fortune in our entire work lives, and we will also spend a fortune. It can be surprising the amount of money we will spend in the course of our lives.
However, it is how we spend that money that is the source of this particular conspiracy. Do we spend our money using cash, or using credit and debit cards, or in other words, are we mostly cashless.
Why a Conspiracy About Going Cashless?
Bank branches are closing due to the fact we use online and mobile banking more and more.
We have the ability now to pay for purchases not just with credit and debit cards, but also our mobiles and other means, which once again means no cash.
But this still does not answer the question, if we are moving towards a cashless society on our own, why is there a conspiracy about this? What is in it for someone, who is this someone, and what are they to gain?
A lot of questions.
However, the answers for all these questions can be narrowed down to two answers:
* Credit card companies and banks
Who is causing us to move or be herded to a cashless society: credit card companies and banks.
Why do this: for money.
According to The Boston Consulting Group, it is estimated that banks and credit card companies are currently making $1 trillion in fees annually.
These fees are paid by the retailer or who actually takes your payment.
So there is the money aspect, and there is more money to be earned.
There also is the government factor.
One of the goals of our government is to make all rail travel “cashless” by 2025.
You would either use your credit or debit card, or mobile payments to buy your rail tickets.
Then let’s look at parking and tolls on bridges and roadways.
In many cities the only way to pay for parking is to use your mobile phone and call a number and provide your bank details, or use an application on your mobile, such as RinGo or JustPark.
Many tolls on bridges and roadways now only take payment via cards, or by paying in advance, or within an allotted time the next day online.
So the government seems to be in on this little conspiracy as well.
And it is not just the government and the card companies wanting us to be cashless, some restaurants, shops, and even pubs are pushing us in the cashless direction.
There are some places that will not accept cash as a form of payment, it is stated and posted from the onset, no cash, you’ll need to pay by card.
So either the retailers are jumping on the band wagon, or they are being guided, directed, and herded themselves, to the end of cash.
The conspiracy grows even more!
But wait, the conspiracy grows even more than that, when you pay by card, your spending can be traced and tracked.
No, say it isn’t so!?
Yes, every electronic payment is traceable, so it is not just how much you spend, but where you spend it.
Tracking Our Spending and Big Data
There is something out there that is worth more than gold, diamonds, and money, it is your details, data, in particular, big data.
In one sense you can see why our details and information on us is important and has a value, just look at all the online scams, and frauds, and identity theft that is happening in the world.
It is a growing area of concern. And why do criminals want our identities and details, to get our money.
Why do companies want data on us and where we go, who we see, and where we spend our money, to target ads to us to sell their products and services.
It is easier to sell something to someone when you know what they like, and what they may be looking for.
You don’t think all those Google ads and ads that pop-up on the side of your browser are just random ads do you?
Please, don’t be so naive.
Doesn’t it seem odd that you were searching for a new car, and then days later new car ads are popping-up, or seem to be more prevalent on your computer.
One company that is notorious for this, well there are many, but one or two tht spring to mind ar Google themselves and of course Facebook.
It should be SellBook, or “we have all your details and know everything about your life, your friends, relationship status, when you are in or out, can track where you are Book“.
Your details and data is used to tailor ads to sell to you.
And these can be very specific ads, that can even be based on your income. Why try to sell a Maserati to someone who can only afford a Ford. (I am not saying anything negative about Fords:)
Loyalty Cards: By using loyalty cards we get rewarded in some form for being repeat customers to either a store, shop, or restaurant.
These shops and stores also track what we buy, that is why we get vouchers or coupons in the post to buy items we have previously purchased. The retailers know we bought these items in the past and are likely to buy them again.
They are using our data, and tracking our purchases.
Does that seem just a little “Big Brotherish”?
However, all this data gathering can take on a “sinister” approach, or even more of a darker conspiracy idea.
Travel: By paying for rail, air, bus, even taxis by cards, our movements can be tracked. As if Facebook and Google didn’t know where we are at all times anyway, now companies and whomever, will know how we got from point A to point B.
If we used a non-peak rail pass during peak hours, the powers that be could find out, and fine us.
Hotels: Companies would not just b able to track us, but know where we are staying if we pay by card at hotels, or Airbnb’s.
Spend to much time outside the country and maybe it is an issue for your insurer, or if you have Visa restrictions.
The Taxman: If HMRC can track your spending, they can know how much you spend. Spend too much, they may think you have income you are not paying taxes on. This could trigger a closer look into our taxes and what we are paying.
NHS: If what we are eating and drinking is tracked, and we have an unhealthy lifestyle, eat all the wrong foods, drink surgery drinks or too much alcohol, this may have an effect on treatments, and it could also impact our insurance premiums for life insurance, and private healthcare policies.
There is always a concern or worry with anything, especially anything that is techno based, and cashless payments and banking are not immune to this.
There can be “glitches” that could cash widespread disruption in our new cashless conspired world.
Systems go down and access to your bank, your money, and ability to make payments can be halted. And it does and has happened on more than one occasion.
So while cashless sounds good to some, we need to be aware of one aspect of it, the whole house of cards is dependent on computers and technology functioning, and functioning 24/7/365
So is there really a conspiracy to move us towards a cashless society….who knows???
However, there are many indicators that seem to back-up this theory, and if going cashless is not a conspiracy, then coupling going cashless with big data looks even more Orwellian.