The Cashless Society Is A Con... And Big Finance Is Behind It

Authored by Brett Scott, op-ed via The Guardian,

Banks are closing ATMs and branches in an attempt to ‘nudge’ users towards digital services – and it’s all for their own benefit

All over the western world banks are shutting down cash machinesand branches. They are trying to push you into using their digital payments and digital banking infrastructure. Just like Google wants everyone to access and navigate the broader internet via its privately controlled search portal, so financial institutions want everyone to access and navigate the broader economy through their systems.

Another aim is to cut costs in order to boost profits. Branches require staff. Replacing them with standardised self-service apps allows the senior managers of financial institutions to directly control and monitor interactions with customers.

Banks, of course, tell us a different story about why they do this. I recently got a letter from my bank telling me that they are shutting down local branches because “customers are turning to digital”, and they are thus “responding to changing customer preferences”. I am one of the customers they are referring to, but I never asked them to shut down the branches.

There is a feedback loop going on here. In closing down their branches, or withdrawing their cash machines, they make it harder for me to use those services. I am much more likely to “choose” a digital option if the banks deliberately make it harder for me to choose a non-digital option.

In behavioural economics this is referred to as “nudging”. If a powerful institution wants to make people choose a certain thing, the best strategy is to make it difficult to choose the alternative.

We can illustrate this with the example of self-checkout tills at supermarkets. The underlying agenda is to replace checkout staff with self-service machines to cut costs. But supermarkets have to convince their customers. They thus initially present self-checkout as a convenient alternative. When some people then use that alternative, the supermarket can cite that as evidence of a change in customer behaviour, which they then use to justify a reduction in checkout employees. This in turn makes it more inconvenient to use the checkout staff, which in turn makes customers more likely to use the machines. They slowly wean you off staff, and “nudge” you towards self-service.

Financial institutions, likewise, are trying to nudge us towards a cashless society and digital banking. The true motive is corporate profit. Payments companies such as Visa and Mastercard want to increase the volume of digital payments services they sell, while banks want to cut costs. The nudge requires two parts. First, they must increase the inconvenience of cash, ATMs and branches. Second, they must vigorously promote the alternative. They seek to make people “learn” that they want digital, and then “choose” it.

We can learn from the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci in this regard. His concept of hegemony referred to the way in which powerful parties condition the cultural and economic environment in such a way that their interests begin to be perceived as natural and inevitable by the general public. Nobody was on the streets shouting for digital payment 20 years ago, but increasingly it seems obvious and “natural” that it should take over. That belief does not come from nowhere. It is the direct result of a hegemonic project on the part of financial institutions.

We can also learn from Louis Althusser’s concept of interpellation. The basic idea is that you can get people to internalise beliefs by addressing them as if they already had those beliefs. Twenty years ago nobody believed that cash was “inconvenient”, but every time I walk into London Underground I see adverts that address me as if I was a person who finds cash inconvenient. The objective is to reverse-engineer a belief within me that it is inconvenient, and that cashlessness is in my interests. But a cashless society is not in your interest. It is in the interest of banks and payments companies. Their job is to make you believe that it is in your interest too, and they are succeeding in doing that.

The recent Visa chaos, during which millions of people who have become dependent on digital payment suddenly found themselves stranded when the monopolistic payment network crashed, was a temporary setback. Digital systems may be “convenient”, but they often come with central points of failure. Cash, on the other hand, does not crash. It does not rely on external data centres, and is not subject to remote control or remote monitoring. The cash system allows for an unmonitored “off the grid” space. This is also the reason why financial institutions and financial technology companies want to get rid of it. Cash transactions are outside the net that such institutions cast to harvest fees and data.

A cashless society brings dangers. People without bank accounts will find themselves further marginalised, disenfranchised from the cash infrastructure that previously supported them. There are also poorly understood psychological implications about cash encouraging self-control while paying by card or a mobile phone can encourage spending. And a cashless society has major surveillance implications.

Despite this, we see an alignment between government and financial institutions. The Treasury recently held a public consultation on cash and digital payments in the new economy. It presented itself as attempting to strike a balance, noting that cash was still important. But years of subtle lobbying by the financial industry have clearly paid off. The call for evidencerepeatedly notes the negative elements of cash – associating it with crime and tax evasion – but barely mentions the negative implications of digital payments.

The UK government has chosen to champion the digital financial services industry. This is irresponsible and disingenuous. We need to stop accepting stories about the cashless society and hyper-digital banking being “natural progress”. We must recognise every cash machine that is shut down as another step in financial institutions’ campaign to nudge you into their digital enclosures.

Comments

MoreSun house biscuit Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

The jew supremacist bankster gangsters want full control of you assets-Period. Unless you stop them they will succeed.

You have not been able to control your own borders though you have been clamoring for immigration enforcement and a border wall since 1950 the jew supremacist anti-Republic machine has thwarted all your efforts.

Imagine that, the very few jews controlling and governing of the goyim masses. Hail Aipac, Adl, Splc, Jwc, Jdl, Aclu and a thousand more Foreign Agent jew supremacist anti-American organizations.

Long live Bibi the anti-Christ and his so-called israel.

China performed a study some years ago and determined the U.S. was in fact controlled by the jew supremacists.

About 90% of jews are “fake” according to the Jewish Genome Study at John’s Hopkins. https://www.scribd.com/doc/123652605/Genome-Evolution-of-Jewish-Populat…

Ernst Zundel, The Ultimate Truth Warrior & Martyr !!  Check Him & His Message Out !!  

In reply to by house biscuit

Croesus MoreSun Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

It's just another tool to cement control over the masses:

1. Are your views not in-line with acceptable parameters? You can easily be shut down.

2. Are you hiding income from the tax thieves? Not anymore.

3. Have you told your insurance company that you are a non-smoker? Well, why are these daily cigarette purchases debiting from your account?

It's about power and control.

In reply to by MoreSun

gdpetti Last of the Mi… Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:41 Permalink

Globalization is NWO... regional zones of enforcement, but essentially the SG, i.e. puppet masters of the OWO, are outing their old game for a  new one, and they want it up and  running BEFORE Mother Nature swings in to do her cyclical cleanup op.... 6th Extinction.... all that's left to depart is us, the dominant species, our pets and our animals/plants used for food.

Well Fargo is just a local example of how this plays out... they are being 'outed'... exposed as OWO corruption... that needs to be replaced... thus regime change... not just for others abroad, but here at home... as it fits into the NWO global regime change... to ramp up the levels of chaos, i.e. negative energy, needed for 'graduation'.. to their desired NWO... which will be built on the ashes/corpses of their OWO... thus the stress on all the establishment puppets, all tools of the SG to control the herd.

Digitalization is just one step further along the path of least resistance in placing the Mark of the Beast on everyone in the herd... 666... ancient symbolization of 'VISA'.... VI in Romans=6... Sumerian, etc.... think visas, passports, licenses for everyone and everything... digitilizing it all is better economically... get the  herd to control itself.. censor itself... classic.

Most likely Wells Fargo, like all the OWO systems, haven't a clue that they are their own worst enemy... outing themselves and each other... engineered by their 'masters'... 'they know not what they do'.... most of the herd isn't even concerned, doesn't pay attention, won't have a clue and don't really care because nothing much has really changed for them.. it's a very slow process here in the West... in the East, or parts of it like CHina, they are leap-frogging up to digitilization, skipping much of the in-between as they do so.... so that the herd/public doesn't think much of it.... even as they show their hands... that point system for their blogging, commentary on the net etc... this is in effect here as well in formats that aren't so obvious.. but that has been the difference between East and West for centuries.... obviousness vs obliviousness.... in-your-face authoritarian rule vs the hidden hand here in the West... our layers and layers of BS, propaganda porn, bureaucractic crap from religion to school, to media, govt, police and soldiers... all idiots working for the MAN/BEAST... SG through their 'hidden hands' in their OWO... which is being outed and replaced.. and it's gonna get a lot worse here as the real 'crazies' get their programs triggered.

But remember that this school called Purgatory is based in s/t, which has a beginning and an end... cyclical rise and fall of civilizations as Spengler and others put it... more ancient societies had it as the wheel of life... the gold, silver, bronze and finally our iron age.. which is set to end soon... as Mother Nature arrives with her main act.

Wells is just one little piece of the OWO outing itself... here in the West, the whole game is played out in public... to stress the herd.. bad for some, good for others... for the latter it serves as the catalyst in consciousness known as a 'wake up call' [Network: "Im as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!].... no pain no gain here in Purgatory.. it's how we learn... and if the customers of Wells hasn't learned to move their account yet, does anything else matter?

In reply to by Last of the Mi…

TradingAvocados Free This Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:18 Permalink

Cryptos are decentralized and not controlled by anyone. It can be subjected to many system failures like abrupt rises in transfer fees.

However it is the only system capable of protecting individuals who are trying to use a scarce currency to grow financially.

In reply to by Free This

pods besnook Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:58 Permalink

The harder they try and squash it the better it will make it.
And when the day comes where they finally have removed all convertibility to FRNs and they toast a glass of baby's blood the joke will be on them. For one, or several cryptos, will start to be the unit of account for more and more people.

Bet on that if they ever try and squash cryptos. 

In reply to by besnook

Dickweed Wang Free This Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

Crypto is the biggest con of them all...they will ban cash and force you to crypto and watch your every move!

 

There are actually a few cryptos out there that provide (for now) complete anonymity but guess what . . . governments all over the world are trying to, or already have, restrict their use or make their use illegal all together.  If that's not a clue what they have in mind with "regular" cryptos like Bitcoin and Litecoin, or any of the .gov sanctioned ones they haven't rolled out yet, I don't know what is.  With today's technology using most regular cryptos provides about the same anonymity as using a debit card or Visa. 

In reply to by Free This

Rickety Rekt Croesus Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

Well another part of it is that branches and atms are really only used by older generations. I never have cash ON me. The older generations banking habits are now a major cost.

That said, I agree, power and control, whether it is profits/people

In reply to by Croesus

Donald J. Trump Rickety Rekt Thu, 07/19/2018 - 15:36 Permalink

I was once like you.  Used credit/debit cards for everything and never had cash because it was convenient and I had a record of everything at the end of the month.  Then I woke up.  First I realized the use of digital was costing me at least 3%.  Not directly but indirectly as the fees are charged to the seller and they pass it along to the consumer in higher prices.  Then came the desire for privacy as it became clearer and clearer that too many "people" know me better than I know myself through my buying habits.  I was tired of being someones target.  Now it's cash whenever possible.

In reply to by Rickety Rekt

Antifaschistische Croesus Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

millennial mantra:

1) I will buy everything from Amazon and will never look at another online retailer

2) I will only go to restaurants that accept my apple pay

3) I will only buy Apple products and no device of mine will ever exceed two years old

4) I will only drive a leased BMW

5) I will never carry any cash..zero

In reply to by Croesus

mailll Croesus Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

Here is a portion of a video by Aaron Russo.  He was a movie producer and one

of the movies he produced was called Trading Places.  Great movie.  Unfortunutaly he

is no longer with us. He is a true world patriot. It's about 8 minutes long.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGcatieMvfk

 

Revelation 13:16-17 King James Version (KJV)

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 

Notice that the king james version says IN and not ON.  In means an RFID implant. All monetary transactions will be 

done using this RFID chip.  

In reply to by Croesus

JIMSJOE2 Croesus Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

This has nothing to do with control but cutting costs. I used to do IT work for a firm which did bank mergers. I was called one day to troubleshoot a router problem in a data center located in a large city. I drove up to the building which had no identification of the bank, 10 foot fences with razor wire and  a huge number of armored guards which was usual for a data center. After I finished I received a call to go to a different part of the building that had a problem. I was escorted and we came to double steel doors and was let in after verify clearance. When I walked thru it was not a data center in a typical office building but opened up to a huge warehouse where I saw pallets after pallets of shrink wrapped cash. In the rear were loading docks. One section had armored cars unloading cash and another has forklifts loading the pallets into tractor trailers. I found out the cash was headed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. After the armored cars unloaded cash it was recounted and place on pallets. The cost of just transporting cash was enormous for just this bank and only in one location. Multiply this by all locations in all major cities and then add in all major banks and the cost of just counting, packaging, transporting and guarding is simply enormous. Without cash none of this would be possible and the savings huge.

     The banks took a page out of the playbook of brokers, investment banks and bans with trading desk which all had to have huge and expensive back office operations tracking all securities constantly sending and receiving physical securities. When the modern day electronic date bases came along they realized they did not need any back office operations but one central clearing data base owned by the entities above hence the DTCC and Cede and Co. This eliminated back office operations which were expensive and costly and inefficient.

     This is the primary reason to go cashless and governments realized after the fact that tax revenue could be increased.

In reply to by Croesus

SixIsNinE Bud Dry Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

for the 1st time in memory - one of my cc's was fraudulently used a few weeks ago - i caught the purchase as i was checking the account online - BEFORE the item had been delivered.  I contacted everyone - the seller (a big tool seller - items was $400 Black & decker) - the bank/visa co - and UPS - to stop delivery and cancel the sale.

I spent a few hours two days in a row - UPS guaranteeing they would send the item back.

next day UPS sends ME an email that item was delivered - to the scammster.  I inform everyone again my disgust that everyone failed to stop a fraudulent order and CC usage - the seller rep admitted that i was the 4th complaint that day to him about a fraud sale - and UPS claimed they did NOT have ANY record of my discussions with their rep to stop delivery.    I tried to speak to a superior with no luck.  The visa company seemed non-chalant about it, said my account would be credited back.  it was in short order.  I asked about what about getting police involved since we know the address of the thief - but no party expressed any interest in getting involved.

 

Back to digital banking - i just used the mobile bank app to make a check deposit instead of having to go to the bank to deposit - super easy.   i use a "phone" that connects wifi but does not have phone capability, therefore a small security insulation from my actual mobile - works great. 

 

In reply to by Bud Dry

Donald J. Trump Bud Dry Thu, 07/19/2018 - 15:47 Permalink

My interesting story about some low level crooks.  I went to a Dollar General once as it was the only store near a hospital I was visiting.  I asked to use the restroom which was in the back employee section of the store.  I was shocked to see a wall there dedicated to shrinkage which is missing inventory in case you don't know.  It said the store's shrinkage was over 50% and their goal was to bring it down to 40%.  Over half of their inventory was being stolen every month.

In reply to by Bud Dry

SILVERGEDDON house biscuit Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:05 Permalink

Fucking cocksuckers are trying to eliminate cash deposits too. 

18 years with the same bank, and they are telling me I can't deposit cash in the wife's account any more.

Bullshit reason - money laundering and fraud.

Fuck you asshole banks - you launder more fucking money than all the real money laundering worldwide combined.

More like they get to charge for each transaction. 

Since when do fucking banks decide that Federal Reserve Notes " Legal tender for all debts public and private " are no longer accepted for same ? 

Time for a fucking class action lawsuit to drop kick these fucking shysters right up the ass with steel toe cowboy boots. 

In reply to by house biscuit