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Not Quite a Cashless Society Yet
January 04, 2008

Cashless Society? Not Yet!

Just when you think we are all on the path towards a cashless society, up pops a story to remind you of the importance of cash in hand. Take a moment to read Bob Sullivan's morning posting on The Red Tape Chronicles blog and bask in the knowledge that currency still has a very important function in our daily lives.

Credit and Debit cards are great, but we all still carry a bit of cash in our wallets or purses, or at least we rely on access to cash through the handy corner ATM. Some may even rely on the ATM too heavily, especially during travel.

When I traveled to Costa Rica last year, most all of our group made use of an ATM at some point or another. Even some of the smaller towns had an ATM near the square. Over the Holidays my immediate family traveled to the Chicagoland area for extended family events and there too, when we ran short of cash, we scurried around trying to locate an ATM.

If our card issuer had lowered withdrawal limits without notifying us in either of these instances, we would have been hard pressed to function. Some purchases would have been fine with use of a debit or credit cards, but try to buy a towel, shawl or shirt in an open air market in Costa Rica and see how far a piece of plastic will get you!

So, no matter how cute those perpetual motion commercials may be, let's not write cash off just yet. The world is no where near ready for a cashless society.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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