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Apparitions of a Cashless Society

The onslaught continues? One step closer to the walletless future.

Are we to now look forward to a world with one digital card or single device using embedded technology? A future where there is no wallet, cash or multiple bank, credit and loyalty cards?

Apple has long term served to forecast many changes. Even when it failed the first time with technology like the Newton, handheld and powerful computing with touch screen is now taken for granted.

If government sits back will we also face a future with only two choices. No! Not a physical wallet vs virtual. Just a simpler choice. Apple virtual wallet vs Google virtual wallet. Sorry Microsoft?

It also aligns with the future of the connected home. Two only providers both offering to sequence your aircon, lights and pre cooked microwave meals, while autonomously deciding the best electricity deal for you and paying the daily instalment to AGL?

P.s. And this vision of one future continues to provide us with a purpose, if only to ensure the profits of Alphabet and Apples future parent “Fruit”. Are you getting your daily serve?

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My apologies to @mark_m for posting similar to his post above about this card…I did search before posting as a new topic (now deleted and moved here) but it wasn’t found so again my apologies.

Apple are spreading into the Credit Card (CC) industry with their release of the Apple Card. It’s all nice and shiny and made from titanium (hoopla in my opinion), designed I guess to appeal with a techy/Appley/new age feel to firstly those who love Apple anything and to then to others who have not yet got all cosy with Apple. This move I also think is to ensure ApplePay gets further entrenched in mainstream finance. We have become just another cash asset to many of these companies whether we think so or not.

Like Coles with their loans and CC business the move by what were non finance businesses into these markets causes me some disquiet. While I already don’t trust banks but I know their main objectives the rise of these others plays on my fears of more data grab than service provision (it is just the gloss to allow the grab).

Anyway if you want to see Apple’s own page about it see:

Then some other commentary on the card:

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The search function for the topics appears to be very independently minded sometimes?

When more than one of the community is drawn promptly to same item or issue it can only make us all feel a little more confident the item deserves closer understanding and comment.

It will be great to hear what others see in this too.

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Cash Is King.I for one could never see cash disappear.The amount of people in debt now in this country is at a all time high.Some of these people who have this problem maybe should cut up there cards and rely on cash only that will sort them out lol.Then they can actually learn to save

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Who would have ever guessed a cashless society needs a robust capable network as well as robust ICT systems? Seems black magic these days as we experience more and more disruptive interruptions.

It appears this may become a major consumer issue rivalling which fridge or TV to buy, but sadly no choice (pun intended) in the matter beyond some reporting while the pollies continue their self serving games.

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No Universal Service Obligation, obviously.

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First the banks started disappearing.

Is it my imagination or are there also fewer ATMs to be found around our towns and cities?

A recent observation from visiting inner Sydney, is the need to actively hunt down our big four branded ATMs. Not only have many of the local branches gone, there are no ATMs nearby as replacements.

While in the stores the minimum amounts for credit card payment seem to also have disappeared.

I started a week long trip cashless. Still to find a need for cash, although the banks must be happy enough?

P.S.
We’ve seen one pop up fast food vendor who was cash only, while some volunteer run organisations ask for gold coin donations. Might still need a pocket full of metal?

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Likewise. Local pub doesnt take cards, let alone do tap and go, or Apple Pay or Android Pay. A few local shops also, although they are less and less. I admit though, not having been to the pub for months, that I have had a $20 note and some change in my wallet for weeks, and havent needed it. I think I’d be safe to go out just with my phone and apple watch (I use the watch rather than fiddling with the phone, to pay for things). what I like about it (apple Pay) is that the vendors never get to see your CC number. Its just a token. so for now, its more secure than most other things.

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Of course I had completely forgotten smart rings. Yes, they do exist. NAB has its own, I believe. I just dont want an account with them.

It’s been years since I used an ATM. When I go shopping, there’s always a Woolworths supermarket handy. Their self-serve checkouts are easier and more convenient than ATMs (and no, you don’t need to be buying anything to withdraw cash).

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It appears that the banks are hedging their money that most of us will just get cash on debit card purchases (eg at Coles or Woolies, etc) when there is no convenient ATM. Might work for some of us, and not at all for others. The banks save money, we ‘pay’ in one way or another.

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An option!
That depends, fee free on your card provider, and the notion Woolies is convenient. Sometimes it is. Most times it is not. Other localities, no Woolies, no ATM, but usually one of the “expensive” private ATMs in the local pokies!

Nearer to home we can park at the bank and ATM,(we still have one in the next town). Woolies is a bit further on, assuming you really desire to enter the car park from hell, also used as a practice circuit by some for the show ground dodgems?

We did have a Suncorp, but the branch and ATM have gone. Still need to enter the car park from hell for an alternative, or Woolies.

Am I a little grumpy and inflexible? Possibly. We all know what it is like trying to reach an old dog new tricks. I often wonder if for the extent of retraining we need to undergo on a routine basis, whether learning mandarin and relocating might be less stressful?

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The same can be done at Coles, Kmart and many other retailers. Even some independent retailers also allow cash out…some require minimum purchase value though,

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I totally appreciate the feedback.

Respectfully, if one lives in the city or a major township life is perfect. Politely, if you don’t the options are fewer. In our instance we still have options, although they may require a short 12km round trip. In other localities the options are one or sometimes none, and perhaps an hour or more away. True there are always options, somewhere!

There is a RediATM inside our local IGA which closes at 6pm. While that might seem simple enough, some of us are no longer employed. Changing banks, getting credit cards, one more account to manage.

No complaints, there are options, and mostly you pay extra. Or I could drive for half an hour to K-mart. But then again there is an ATM around the corner 24x7!

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Woolies is actually my only fee-free option. My town doesn’t have one of my bank’s ATMs (and all the others charge). When I’m shopping, Woolworths is nearly always one of my stops, so it’s very convenient.

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Another of the reasons I like my bank which refunds all fees, including those from the RediATM. Thats pretty much all that is close to me, too, and I used to resent the $2.50 fee to withdraw. I didn’t know, when I switched from my building society accounts to an actual bank, that I would be paying fewer fees. Changing wasnt a huge problem, easily done online (I went with Macquarie Bank)

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Or they could just blow up our 'phones:

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Looks like inadequate beta testing done.

We have had a few apps in the past which have chewed up CPU and battery…which we have uninstalled. I wonder if the notification system has gone haywire making it continually/continuously check for status.

When we rely on no cash a hiccup at a bank can be much more to it’s customers as can be seen from this article and Commbanks letter to it’s users:

Copy of first email received at 3.40 pm 17/10/2019. Outage had been ongoing since 12.15 pm at least…really sure they were actively letting their clients know about the outage as it only took at least 3 hours to get a message out.

" Dear Customer,

We are experiencing an issue with our network this afternoon that is affecting banking services.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

What is working?

Our ATM and EFTPOS merchant services are working.

Our debit and credit cards are working, however, some debit card payments may be affected.

The CommBank app and NetBank are available with limited functionality.

What is affected?

  • BPAY services including PAY-ID payments not available;
  • Cardless Cash not available;
  • Some in-branch services;
  • Some call centre services;
  • CommBiz log-on and some CommBiz payments.

A small number of branches have closed but we are working to get them all reopened.

Who can I speak to?

We are experiencing higher than normal volume of calls to our contact centres which means there are longer wait times.

Some of our contact centre services are also impacted limiting what services we can provide.

When will the problem be fixed?

We are working urgently to fix the problem and will have services restored as soon as possible.

Where can I find more information

We will keep you updated with regular posts on this page at commbank.com.au/info and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

With our sincerest apologies
The CommBank team"

The following is a copy of their page that is linked to in the email above about the issue…so far 9 hours of the problem…

" CommBank update

Find out the latest information that may be affecting your banking services with CommBank.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Update 9:15pm

We continue to urgently work to restore impacted services as soon as we can. We apologise to all our customers affected by this issue.

Update 7:20pm

The issue impacting some of our services is continuing and we are very sorry for this inconvenience.

Rest assured we have our very best people working hard to restore services as soon as we can.

We will continue to provide further updates here.

Remember to be vigilant for hoaxes and scams and please be aware of unsolicited calls. We’ll never ask you for your banking information by email or text message. For tips and ways to protect yourself from scams please visit our Scam Awareness page.

Update 5:30pm

We apologise to our customers affected by this issue. We continue to urgently work to restore impacted services.

We thank all customers for their patience.

Update 4:15pm

Our teams are working urgently to fix an issue with our network. We’re very sorry for this and thank customers for their continued patience while work to restore services.

Our ATMs (except Cardless Cash and Cardless Deposits), EFTPOS merchant services, debit and credit cards are working.

What is affected?

  • Some debit card payments may be impacted;
  • CommBank app and NetBank payments;
  • BPAY services including PAY-ID payments;
  • Cardless Cash and Cardless Deposits not available;
  • Some in-branch services;
  • Some call centre services;
  • Processing of some CommBiz payments.

Naturally this issue is causing a higher than normal volume of calls into our call centres, which means there are longer wait times. Some of our call centre services are also impacted meaning we are unfortunately limited in what services we can provide customers at this stage.

We will also continue to provide updates here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Update 3:00pm

We continue to experience an issue with our network this afternoon that is affecting banking services.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

We are working urgently to fix the problem and will have services restored as soon as possible. All customer accounts are safe.

Further information regarding what services are working and which are affected is below in the 2pm update.

We will keep you updated with regular posts on this page and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Update 2:00pm

There is currently an issue impacting some of our services and our teams are working urgently to resolve this.

We are really sorry for this.

What is working

Our ATM and EFTPOS merchant services are working.

Our debit and credit cards are working, however, we are aware some debit card payments may be impacted.

What’s not working

The following services are impacted:

  • CommBank app and NetBank payments and BPAY services including PAY-ID payments;
  • Cardless Cash not available;
  • In-branch services;
  • Some call centre services;
  • CommBiz log-on and some CommBiz payments.

Who can I speak to about this?

Due to this issue we are experiencing higher than normal volume of calls into our call centres which means there are longer wait times.

Some of our call centre services are also impacted meaning we are unfortunately limited in what we can provide.

We apologise for this.

Some of our branches are also impacted and because of this have temporarily closed.

Where can I find more information

To keep you updated, latest information can be found on this page.

We will also continue to provide updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages

Update 12:30pm

We are urgently working to resolve an issue affecting some of our services. We’re very sorry for this.

Our ATMs and Point-Of-Sale merchant terminals are available and working.

We are currently aware that the following services may be impacted:

  • Payments including PAY-ID and BPAY services in CommBank app and NetBank;
  • Cardless Cash not available;
  • Some in-branch services;
  • Some call centre services

We’re also aware that some customers may also be having issues with their debit card payments.

Due to this incident some of our branches have temporarily closed.

We will provide further updates here.

12:15pm

We are currently experiencing an issue affecting some of our services. We are urgently investigating this and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused. We will provide further updates here."

You may have noted the double speak here “Our debit and credit cards are working, however, we are aware some debit card payments may be impacted”, so they are working but they might not be working, so just try and if it fails well they are working but they aren’t. Commbank’s new “Can Do”.

Newest update (next one after the 9.15 pm update):

" Update 11:00pm

We are working overnight to restore services as soon as we can.

Apologies to all our customers impacted by this."

Sort of your cash is safe with us because you can’t get it…

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I have not been keeping ‘score’ but it seems like our big 4 banks have ever more interruptions and are always very sorry about it. Thus the future with a cashless society might make today’s NBN reliability look promising in comparison.

NBN regularly schedules maintenance (eg some customers down) seemingly at their convenience and I could imagine ‘country down’ might be an option for the banks to schedule their own.

Free market dogma suggests that when customers have had enough inconvenience they will walk to another bank, but history has shown ‘we’ usually do not since our world view is that ‘another bank’ will be just as unreliable so we stand put.

A cashless society requires systems (financial IT and networking) that are essentially always available and fully functional with the worst case outage in the few minutes not many hours range. In my experience the technology is there to do that but is not deployed, possibly because of MBA’s making financial decisions than technologists making operational ones, and enough IT sales people are selling their vapour-ware on promises not realities.

I do not remember reading about the banks worrying about that, just apologising for down times, while wringing their hands in anticipation of more and more e-payments adding to their profits.

Another concerning trend is for the online and smaller banks to rely on the ATM networks to dispense cash, but the big 4 are turning them off slowly but surely to be replaced by for-profit alternatives. A conspiracist might think this part of the long term plan to squeeze cash out by making it ever more inconvenient.

Perhaps another aspect of a service economy as more parts of everything become unique services layered atop each other but how many hands can be held out for their line item share of each transaction?

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