From Steve Asher@3:800/432 to All on Tue Jan 2 01:20:35 2007
The Death Of Cash
27 December 2006
THE DEATH OF CASH
RIP MONEY BORN 640BC DIED 2007 AD Payment by phone is here
By Matt Roper
MONEY talks - and in the very near future it will be talking through your mobile phone.
Fumbling for coins in your pocket will be a thing of the past as the latest technology lets you load up your phone with credit and pay by simply pointing it at the till.
It's further proof that new technology is killing off hard cash.
In the coming year, even the smallest purchases will be paid for electronically after credit card giants Visa and Barclaycard struck a deal to create the next generation of "wave and pay" cards for purchases of less than [UKP]10.
Users will simply wave the card across a scanner to pay for small items for which they would normally use coins, such as their Daily Mirror or a pint of beer.
But the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona has taken the technology one step further by having tiny data chips implanted surgically under customers' skin.
The VeriChip then allows clubbers to pay for drinks by waving their arm across the counter.
Mark Bowerman, from the Association of Payment Clearing Services, says: "People use cards more than cash, but the data on a card can be stored anywhere.
"There's no reason why it can't be kept on your mobile phone, or even underneath the skin on your wrist."
Consumer groups are suspicious of moves to abolish cash transactions.
Janice Allen, from the National Consumer Council, says: "One of the most worrying aspects of replacing cash is the reliance on making our personal information widely available."