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Electronic Banking - Case Study Example

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With the advent of numerous ways to pay without using cash, it makes one wonder if we are ultimately moving towards a cashless society. It seems that information systems advances along with credit cards, debit cards, Oyster cards, Tesco Club cards, and other smart cards are making the use of cash almost obsolete…
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Electronic Banking
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Download file to see previous pages According to New Dawn Magazine (1995, pg. 1), "Money - in the traditional sense no longer exists. It died two decades ago when Richard Nixon forever abolished the gold standard. Since then, money as we once knew it has been replaced by an unstable new global medium of exchange that is called 'megabyte money'... megabyte money is a threat not only to our country's long-term growth and prosperity, but to the individual as well." The public now has quite a few electronic money counterparts available at their disposal.
The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing still prints greenbacks in sheets of 32. "In fiscal 2007, the government will print about 9.1 billion individual bills. But 95 percent is to replace worn currency, not to expand the supply. THE BUCK STARTS HERE, say signs on some printing presses. In reality, today's buck usually begins (and ends) as a mere data entry" (Samuelson, 2007, pg. 1).
* U.S. currency (dollar bills of all amounts) totaled $784 billion in 2006, but probably half or more is held outside the United States by foreigners who prize dollars--especially $100 bills--as a store of value. That suggests that less than $400 billion in currency supports a $13 trillion economy. In 1970, the economy's relative need for cash was almost twice as high.
* In 2005, Americans held 1.7 billion credit and debit cards (about seven for everyone over 15), says The Nilson Report, an industry newsletter, and in the past decade, debit-card use has soared. In 1996, checks and cash represented almost 80 percent of consumer payments, estimates Nilson; they're now less than half. (The latest firm figures for 2005 show all paper payments at 50.3 percent of the total, with cash at 20.7 percent; by 2010, Nilson expects electronic payments to exceed 70 percent of the total.)
* From a peak of almost 50 billion in 1995, the number of checks written in the United States fell to 36.6 billion in 2003, while the number of electronic payments rose from 15 billion to 44 billion, estimates the Federal Reserve. (The Fed survey doesn't directly measure cash use.)
Companies are even marketing products to kids that are supposed to help get them used to the cashless society that supposedly lies ahead. For instance, Mastercard came out with a credit card made just for children. One of the biggest dangers of this card is that it can allow children to go into debt by purchasing and consuming large amounts of products without using cash. "Supporters regard the cards, which are issued by Bluecorner, as the natural step in an increasingly cashless society. They argue that the prepayment cards will familiarise children with plastic without spending too much. The cards are designed to get children used to the fact that cash is obsolete and their money, and the amount they are allowed to spend is controlled by someone else who also profits from their spending" (Watson, 2006, pg. 1).
The Role of Information Systems
According to New Dawn Magazine (1995, pg. 1), "Certainly there are jumps in technology that have facilitated this. For instance, a product that we market at Norwest is a debit card. It is a Visa Card (credit) but it's a debit card, so the money comes out of your checking account. This year [1994] across the country, Visa's volume (the number of times that the Visa Card is used) is up massively. Check ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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