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purse, generic, bank, cards, credit, money, spend Pixabay

Watch your bank balance disappear with debit cards

CASHLESS SOCIETY they said, bunkum we replied.

But we're almost there, a world without cash.

It's been a long time coming and bank tellers, corner store employees and service station staff can breathe a sigh of relief.

No more hold-ups and if criminals want cigarettes give them away readily as that will get them off the planet much sooner.

The tortuous journey of transactions and considerations has reached its final destination, the debit card!

Barter was the transaction of choice for many centuries - townsfolk exchanged goods and services for other goods and services.

One cow got you three sheep, one roof repair got you two barrels of fine wine and so on.

It is said the first currency minted was by Lydia's King Alyattes in 600BC when he made the first official currency from "electrum" which is a mix of gold and silver.

In turn it was crafted into coins bearing different symbols for different denominations.

Fast forward two or three centuries.

Many of us grew up with pounds, shillings and pence and even, for some strange reason, guineas.

On February 14, 1966, we changed to decimal currency, dollars and cents, but not before much hullabaloo.

Treasurer Harold Holt (boy could he swim) announced on June 5, 1963 our new currency would be known as the "Royal" and it would be divided into 100 cents featuring the coins "Crown", "Florin" and "Shilling" along with coins representing five, two and one cents.

The nation revolted and so heated was the debate-even worse than explaining the benefits of daylight saving to a Queenslander-that Harold's wife Zara received death threats.

Harold surrendered and thus we have dollars and cents.


Other payment options at that time were cheques, promissory notes, IOUs and lay-bys which have mostly disappeared.

A revolution occurred in 1974 when, without any consultation, banks gave, almost everyone a brand new Bankcard.

I was included in the "almost" which was probably my bank, Commonwealth Bank, saying, "Johno we want you to grow up and become a multi-millionaire, so we're not giving you a card".

But I got one anyway and instead of becoming a multi-millionaire, I spent a lifetime making other people multi-millionaires.

Today there are 20 million credit cards in circulation in Australia with an estimated $40 billion balance and available credit of $150 billion.

Nowadays we use debit cards, meaning the transaction is instantly recorded against your savings account.

You can transact with your traditional plastic card, adhesive disc, wrist band, mobile phone and even your watch.

And if you think, then Prime Minister, Harold Holt's 1967 disappearance was the best disappearing act of all time, get yourself one of these little blighters and watch your bank balance disappear before your eyes.

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