When you have to budget for ATM withdrawals finding other options becomes a necessity.
I couldn’t believe the numbers that were on the screen in front of me. The equivalent to of $9 in Czech koruna for nothing other than an ATM transaction. In Thailand, the price is nearly $7, in [insert place here] it’s …
Add on the fees that my bank charge on top of this and the simple act of getting cash has become an expense so significant that it deserves its own line in the travel budget ledger.
With the rise in global popularity of cashless transactions ATM Fees have become exorbitant. So exorbitant, in fact, that I’ve had to develop a new fiscal strategy:
Upon entering a country I take out a glut of cash at the airport and then try my hardest not to spend it. Wherever I can use my card, I use it. I only use my store of cash for transactions that don’t accept cards or I don’t want tracked. If I have a little cash left over on the way out I exchange it for dollars.
I don’t like doing this. I don’t like having to carry my cards around with me at all times and using them a multitude of times throughout the day. They can get lost, they can get damaged…
When in your home country a lost or damaged card is no big deal — you just call the bank and get a new one sent to you. But when you’re traveling abroad a lost or broken card can put you in some pretty compromising situations. It’s not just a call to the bank, as you need to wait for the card to be shipped overseas, which can take a week or two … and it may never show up at all, as I experienced this summer when an ATM ate one of my cards in Prague.
I actually just lost a card last night…
I’m down to one, and if I lose it before I swing through the USA a month from now I’m screwed.
The world doesn’t evolved in accordance to the needs of travelers …
Governments, corporations, and, apparently, many vendors want a cashless planet. India let loose a demonitization initiative at the end of 2016 that was essentially a war against cash. Other countries will follow suit. Transactions that can be tracked can be taxed. Law enforcement can more easily follow the money. There are no worries of employees dipping in the till.
The stores of the future won’t even have tills — or employees for that matter.
Cash will soon be criminal. We will only use it for illicit purchases and transactions we want to hide. Ten years from now if someone says they paid cash for something his friends will giggle: “What are you shopping for?” A clutch of bills in someone’s hand will make those around them nervous: “who is this guy? Why does he have so much … cash?”
Then it will just be gone. No more money. No more coins. No more working under the table. No more tax evasion. No more privacy. No more freedom.
Cashless transactions are not just about buying stuff. Each time you swipe or tap or insert you are logged as being in a certain place at a certain time. It is not only your purchases that are being logged and tracked, but you. As they say: we all have nothing to hide … until we do.
From my vantage point in a Bangkok cafe I just watch a guy pay for a boom boom girl with a card. He even got a receipt.
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