Cutting Out Cash: How Companies Are Making It Easier to Swipe

2 Minute Read

More and more companies are trying to take Benjamin Franklin off his throne and replace him with MasterCard. Poor Ben.

Slowly but surely, our culture continues to move away from cash and toward electronic-only forms of payment. Some businesses are even building their business model around the concept.

For example, as part of a $1 billion makeover, Disney World is creating RFID wristbands—called “Magic Bands”—that will allow park visitors to simply swipe their wrist to enter the park, buy food and souvenirs, and even enter their hotel room. The wristband will do everything. A visitor will register for the service, which will apparently connect to their credit card.

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This article in Fast Company explains the drawbacks: “A skeptic would point out that such an interaction will disassociate people with spending money, and that’s entirely true: Families will be able to enjoy Disney without the constant reminder that the magic comes at a price.

Call us skeptics. Swipe your wrist and … abracadabra! You’re now the owner of four oversized Mickey Mouse hats that cost you $80! “Magic,” indeed. We’re pretty sure that the “magic” will disappear as soon as the bills start pouring in a month later. 

Disney’s not alone. More businesses across the country are “banning” cash, making it even easier for their customers to spend more money and blow their budgets.

It’s one thing when you go to a restaurant and use a card, but you can really get in trouble when you go to places like amusement parks, stadiums and shopping malls—places with a lot of spending options all next to each other.

We’re not saying to avoid places that don’t take cash. After all, everyone loves a Disney World trip every now and then.

But when you go somewhere like that, you have to kick your discipline up a notch and vow to not overspend.

Disney will lure your wallet—or wrist—in with the promise of magic then spit it out faster than a Tinkerbell cartwheel. It’s not magic. It’s money. And stuff costs money.

We learn that as kids, but it’s easy to forget—especially when companies keep making it easier and easier for us to spend without even blinking.

So don’t believe the magic. Stuff costs money.  And if you buy the stuff, you had better have the money to pay for it.

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