How Close is a Cashless Society?
As my habit is I pay cash for everything that is not business related and use a credit card for everything that is. My wife does the same. It makes our annual accounting a lot simpler. I go through a lot of Ben Franklin’s and at the end of the day give most of the smaller denominations to my wife. The older I get the less I see anyone else using cash for their transactions.
During my service in the United States Armed Forces from ’67-71 I was stationed in Bayonne, N.J. Whenever a bunch of us took Liberty (time off) we would usually go to Times Square or Greenwich Village. I can remember sitting on the can in a public restroom at the Port Authority reading a torn page from a magazine on the floor which had the Chase Manhattan logo on it. The article was about “The Cashless Society.”
The only thing close to credit card that I had access to then was my father’s telephone credit card number which I would use to call my mother from the Philippines or somewhere in the Mediterranean. (Who would have ever thought that someday I would work for a Merchant Services company processing credit cards!) In 1966, the ancestor of Mastercard was born when a group of banks established Master Charge; it received a significant boost when Citibank merged its proprietary Everything Card (launched in 1967) into Master Charge in 1969. Soon after this thousands of credit cards were mailed to people thought to be of good credit. The blanket mailing of these cards was ended in 1970 after 100 million had been sent out.
There used to be lines at the grocery store for “Cash Only,” but not anymore. It seems that as time went on fewer and fewer people carried any cash. Now, when I pull out my $100 bills I feel like a Dinosaur! The cashier looks at it, holds it up to the light, draws a line on it with a pen with special ink in it and eventually gives me the change. I use to be welcomed in the cash only line yet now am suspect in the regular lines.
Years back when the housing bubble first burst, we thought it would be a good idea to have some cash on hand. When we went to the bank to withdraw a large amount of money we were told that we would have to make an appointment at least a week in advance to make such a withdrawal. We were amazed at the scrutiny were were put through to process the transaction. They wanted to know why and what the intended purpose was. We even had to sign waivers releasing the bank from any liability when we walked out the door with it. I almost felt like a bank robber. Ha!
Someday the need for cash will become completely obsolete. Things that don’t get used are generally replaced by things that are used. How easy would it be in this day and age to be arrested as a suspected counterfeiter in your grocery or department store line? Very few people are using cash and counterfeiters are some of them. During the process of withdrawing money from one bank and putting it back in another a counterfeit $100 bill was discovered. And of course I was once again suspect. Cash used to be King as the saying goes but soon anyone who has it and tries to use it in a commercial application could find themselves in a bind.
Soon, no one will be able to buy or sell anything with cash. Sound far-fetched? Consider this: “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.” Rv 13:17 The mark, charagma, is something engraved, stamped or etched (in or on your body; most likely your hand or a fingertip.) Rv 13:16. This word is akin to grapho, from which the English word graphic comes. Basically this mark could be imprinted, encoded on your right fingertip. How convenient would that be?! You would never need a wallet again; never have to fumble through your purse again looking for your Visa ’cause they won’t accept American Express! What a relief it will be.
Receiving the mark of the beast is going to be subtle and most people are going to be standing in line to get it. It is going to be the newest, most technologically advanced payment and identification system in the world. People will be lined up around the block at the Apple Store and eventually Best Buy. It won’t be called “the mark of the beast,” that’s for sure. Most people will love the False Prophet who precedes the Antichrist by 3.5 years. Neither of them will be known by these names. The former will be known by the signs, miracles and wonders they perform.
See more in Chapter XI of my new book, pages 119-29, at http://www.fredswolfe.com
May God bless you and keep you.