I remember my younger days. It was about 60 years ago. I have mentioned in previous posts my grandmother’s concern about the Russian Sputnik. At night my grandmother wouldn’t stand close to a window because she knew the Russian were watching her. I assured her there was NO WAY they could see us from up there!
It wasn’t long ago that bankers pushed writing checks instead of the dangerousness of carrying cash. Later, as progress moved us forward, it was the convenience of plastic over checks, then cash cards over credit cards. My parents’ generation warned of the dangers of putting so much personal financial information on your computers.
Today, satellites can read a book over my shoulder, almost everyone carries a debit card, and we make purchases over the internet. For some idiotic reason I have trusted American business to keep my financial data safe. We now know that American business, no matter how much they invest in security, is incapable of keeping me safe. It amazes me that America spends millions, billions or trillions a year and yet lags behind Europe in plastic card security. When will we begin using the more secure micro-chipped plastic cards?
My wife took over the recording and tracking of our finances some years ago. She has been pushing me toward the Debit Card usage, since it’s easier to record it now rather than be surprised when the Credit Card bill arrives. Using the Debit Card has always made me nervous. Do you hear that great “sucking” sound? That’s an Identify Thief draining your checking account. Its like shooting goose poop through a funnel! Swoosh, it’s gone!
My Debit Card use has always been limited and this year is even less. I attempt to limit myself to stepping up to the bank’s cash machine and getting out cash. The only concern I have, is the cash machine isn’t owned by the bank. The cash machine is a contract service. That means my data is swooshing through someone else’s hands. Be that as it may, I am moving back toward cash or credit card purchases only. There is a problem, however, getting the cash. I don’t carry THE check book, so cashing a check at the bank isn’t available to me. But the debit (cash) card and bank machines (or should we call them money machines?) are everywhere.
I don’t like standing in line at a “cash” machine. On two recent machine visits, I found myself second in line to someone obtaining cash. Now, my experience should be about typical to most machine users, I either; A. walk up to the machine, swipe the card, type the (hopefully) secret passcode, chose Fast Cash/Receipt get the cash and walk away-30 seconds, or B. same as above, but first move money from savings to checking-50 seconds. However on two recent occasions, my “first in line user” went through a series beeps, boops, and bops. Got cash (maybe) and then started the process all over, and over and over. I wasn’t close enough to peer over the shoulder, but as it appeared that the 2nd card was being used I took, a couple of steps back. By the time the apparent 4th card was in use, I was in my car, moving on to another location.
I have now “cashed out” of using Debit Cards, but it seems some people are chasing in on getting cash.