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Cashless Society

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the your-cashcard-or-your-life dept.

Technology 661

roomisigloomis writes "France has released "en masse" a new card to replace money. No private information is stored on the card and anybody can use it. Just like cash: you lose it and someone else uses it. Do you think we could be nearing the end of life of paper money?"

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FIRST (2nd, 3rd) FUCKEN POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262850)

in soviet russia we own you!

kool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262864)

Hey I'm elite, i really did get 1st post this time!

fuckings to all you $2 sand niggahz!

die (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262853)

die

FP (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262855)

In Soviet Russia Money Cards You

Re:FP (0, Flamebait)

amd-core (581541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263007)

There is no Soviet Russia anymore... when will you understand it?

errr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262856)

just cos it's a card doesn't mean it's not cash! if it quacks like a duck it is a duck - similarly, if it has all (or most) of the characteristics of cash (i.e. use it, lose it) it's cash!

Re:errr (0, Troll)

drfrogsplat (644587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262870)

my computer, with the aid of quack.wav can quack like a duck... but its not a duck. its cashless because you don't swap small bits of annoying metal around of which you always end up with hundreds of the really small ones... no one said money-less, just cash-less.

This is temporarily the first post (-1)

Bitter Old Man (572131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262857)

If you read comments backwards.

First post for Xbox live... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262858)

'cause ther ain't no linux gaming console!

Re:First post for Xbox live... (0, Troll)

jedir0x (522662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262883)

http://www.matrexstation.com

yes there is :) check it out... cool stuff :)

FPC FRANCE SUCKS (-1, Troll)

jewC (609136) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262859)

FIRST POST CLAN SHUGASHACK BABY!!! JEWCJEW MAMA bring back da shack so what happened to the shacknews server? FRANCE SUCKS started a club at my high school called BPAC the constitutino says we dont like france

Re:FPC FRANCE SUCKS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262877)

SUGASHACK BU-YA - no i got first post you lame cunt! nah nah nah nah beeyotch!

Re:FPC FRANCE SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262880)

Is it just me, or does the above post make absolutely ZERO sense?

Re:FPC FRANCE SUCKS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262917)

Yo, u just AINIT BABY!

The End Of Paper Money? (1, Interesting)

TropicalTexan (448231) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262861)

No Way...I can't see an easy way to hide this stuff completely as you can with cash. There's always going to be a need for totally anonymous, never expires, never gets damaged cash.

Re:The End Of Paper Money? (5, Insightful)

drfrogsplat (644587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262946)

"totally anonymous" - it is (or can be), the cards store no personal information (unless you attach it to your credit card which has limited personal info on it)

"never expires" - it does? thats not what the article says...

"never gets damaged" - all physical currency only exists in a physical and damagable form, paper rips, burns, gets washed... plastic money isn't especially sturdy and who wants to keep massive volumes of coins?

the money card would have a database (physically located in several places across the country/world) which is something physical cash cannot offer - a backup

sounds to me like this money card is just as anonymous, safe from expiry and damage than normal cash....

Old news (5, Interesting)

reynaert (264437) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262863)

In Belgium this has been available for a couple of years now. It's called Proton over here and is pretty popular.

Re:Old news (1, Offtopic)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262902)

In Belgium this has been available for a couple of years now. It's called Proton over here and is pretty popular.

In Soviet Belgium ... err wrong joke sorry..

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5263013)

Wait 'till the Belgians vote pro EUCD, then the joke will become active again

Doesn't bother me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262865)

My wallet gets too fat with cash. Not the big bills, either, just the singles, it seems. :( Besides, most of the time I end up using ATM, anyway.

Card to card transfers? (4, Insightful)

basilisk128 (577687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262866)

I wonder if there will be a way to transfer money directly from one card to another, although I suppose you would need a separate machine for that.

Otherwise you could only use it at places like stores, where they would have a card reader.

Re:Card to card transfers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262956)

That reminds me of an episode of Cowboy Bebop, where two characters split a bounty on someone they just put away. They basically plugged in their cards into this reader type thing about the size of a check book and it transferred the cash. Quite interesting.

How do I count it? (5, Insightful)

jonjohnson (568941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262868)

Paper money has the advantage over the card because you can see how much you have without accessing that information somewhere else.

and now, how to NOT hack it (4, Insightful)

eille-la (600064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262869)

the subject.

We have in SG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262871)

Nothing new. We have had cashless "cash" for years in Singapore. We call it CashCard. Used to pay at libraries, shops, petrol, (almost anything).

Can be used over the Internet too./ Sadly WinXX only. (No Linux support we are fighting for it tho')

anand

How am I suppose to put this... (4, Funny)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262874)

down some strippers G-String? How I ask you?

Re:How am I suppose to put this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262899)

Slide it down the lips. :P

Re:How am I suppose to put this... (1)

mansa (94579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262909)

Just swipe the card down her crack...

err, did I just say that? :)

Re:How am I suppose to put this... (1)

styxlord (9897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262938)

hrm ... so why can't I keep my moderator points on one of these cards?

"Insightful" and not "Humorous"!? (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262918)

Parent is "Insightful" and not "Humorous":
What kind of lowlife people hang out here at /. !?

Oh, I see -- my kind... :-)

Re:How am I suppose to put this... (1)

NeoMoose (626691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262929)

The day strippers let you swipe plastic will be a day for celebration

Re:How am I suppose to put this... (5, Insightful)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262941)

This is actually a good point. One of the advantages of cash is that it can be split into whatever demoniations you have.

For instance, if I have a 45 dollar card and I want you to have 5 dollars, can't do it without a transfer machine (or if you forgot your card). With cash easy, assuming I have a five.

And then counterfitting. Wow, if money is only a string of ones and zeros on a card WOO HOOO. So its digitally signed? great I just bought a 100 dollar card and did a bit by bit copy.

Use a central authority, better hope that thing never gets hacked. Use a distributed method - gonna have SEVERE syncing problems (if it is anonymous then you can't just bill me later for the over charge).

As of right now there is not enough incetive for many to hack a system, make it so it is and you will have script kiddies cloning money - yech.

Fatal Flaws (4, Interesting)

NeoMoose (626691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262875)

What the hell are you supposed to do when someone decides to be an ass and demagnetize your card? Does your money just vanish since you can't scan it and it carries no identifying information?

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

HughsOnFirst (174255) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262920)

From the first sentence of the article:
"The chief idea behind this new breed of microchip-embedded plastic is simple -- to dispense with pocket change and speed smaller transactions."
Sounds like a "smart" card to me.
Any more questions?

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

NeoMoose (626691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262948)

We already have these so called "Smart Cards" with microchips in them. However, they still utilize a magnetic strip when you use them.

Re:Fatal Flaws (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262933)

It's a flash chip, not a magnetic stripe. Still, there's the potential problem of hacking into it, for example to add more money.

Re:Fatal Flaws (4, Insightful)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262942)

Just as with a credit card or current cash cards that (most) stores use, there would probably be a section of raised lettering that would carry the card's ID number. In fact, if you look at the picture [cnn.net] closely, you can even see the numbering.

The main roblem the I see with this is how does business get done then the system is down / power is out? You wouldn't be able to access the DB that store all of the card information, and therefore wouldn't have any way of verifying if there is money on the card that somebody is using or not.

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262959)

If what you say is true (and yes the pictures seem to indicate this) then I would question the level of "anonymous" these cards have. Tracking numbers typically don't imply anonymous.

Re:Fatal Flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262968)

The main roblem the I see with this is how does business get done then the system is down / power is out? You wouldn't be able to access the DB that store all of the card information, and therefore wouldn't have any way of verifying if there is money on the card that somebody is using or not.

Well, considering how most businesses in the western world are moving towards computerized POS equipment etc. to keep track of everything, it would seem that if the system were down now we'd still be affected even with cash. Now the main DB going down is another thing, although I'm sure with something as important as this they have some kind of redundancy to prevent going down 100%.

Re:Fatal Flaws (4, Interesting)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262986)

Ok I'll bite.

I happen to work at a store that uses an all-computerized POS system. It's a fairly big retail store, and I have watched the system go down and power go out before, while the store was open and there were customers in there.

What happened? Well, we pulled calculators off the shelves and found the prices manually, hand wrote reciepts, and anbody that had cash was able to pay and leave. Anybody that needed to use credit / debit had to wait until the power came back on (usually 30 min).

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263023)

Methinks any store which is that dependent upon a stable source of electricity to conduct their business should invest in a Uninterruptible Power Supply to handle those contigencies.

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

mako (30489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262947)

Looks to be a smartcard, so I assume someone would have to phsically destroy the card. The same as taking a wad of cash and throwing it in the fireplace.

Re:Fatal Flaws (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262999)

My sentiments exactly.

It appears to me like buying a $100 bill, much like visiting the ATM.

Yes, that cash can be stolen, burned, lost, whatever.

So, treat it like cash.

But the advantage is you don't have to piddle around with all that change. You want something, just use the card. Don't worry about trying to come up with the proper assortment of coinage, or trying to count it. Or expecting the merchant to have all the correct coinage either.

And, if you *do* succeed in losing it, its nothing you are going to *seriously* regret... like having to redo your entire accounting structure.. just take your losses like you would if you lost $100. Its not like if you got mugged for it, you are going to have to go about canceling all your credit cards, going through all the hassle of closing numerous accounts, revectoring all the auto-pay billing systems, etc.

It looks like a good thing to me so far.

Just keep my personal life out of it.

If it were free... (5, Insightful)

redtail1 (603986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262879)

Not a bad idea, but this sounds like a sleazy way for financial institutions to get a small piece of every transaction they currently can't touch, namely cash transactions.

Re:If it were free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262928)

You mean... like taxes?

Re:If it were free... (1)

Tiro (19535) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263009)

  1. Not a bad idea, but this sounds like a sleazy way for financial institutions to get a small piece of every transaction they currently can't touch, namely cash transactions.
You mean... like taxes?

No, he means like Credit Cards.

I'm not sure.. (5, Insightful)

Gyan (6853) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262881)


Paper money has to be carefully studied and then duplicated with painstaking attention to detail.

Someone could just probably figure out how money is "stored" and just keep on replenishing. Note the card is anonymous.

Money might not grow on trees, but it can be created by computer :-)

Re:I'm not sure.. (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262945)

Someone could just probably figure out how money is "stored" and just keep on replenishing. Note the card is anonymous.


If they are smart, the card only carries a serial number and the actual amount is stored elsewhere (like credit cards) Replenishing in this case is as difficult as fake-paying off a credit card bill, however there would be fraud a-funding it and b-cloning existing cards

Re:I'm not sure.. (2, Interesting)

OttoM (467655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263015)

If they are smart, the card only carries a serial number and the actual amount is stored elsewhere (like credit cards)

You are wrong. Like the system used here in the Netherlands it is an off-line system. The card itself stores the bit string representing the money. On-line transcations are too expensive for this type of transaction, which is typically used here for parking fees.

Hacking it may be possible, but is quite difficult. Reasonbly strong crypto is used in these card. The cards carry a smart card that is capable of doing arithmetic functions that are needed for doing the cryptographical computations.

The protocol used for "charging" the cards does work on-line, and needs special terminals that are mostly located at banks.

Paperless currency (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262882)

Paperless currency, in my opinion is well overdue.

1) Such cards could be used overseas more easily.
2) Good alternatives to credit cards. You won't get charged a fee for a lot of small transactions.

Re:Paperless currency (1)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262971)

Good alternatives to credit cards. You won't get charged a fee for a lot of small transactions

Funny, that's what I use my debit card for. No transaction fees, no interest, and when I run out of money, it stops spending.

Now that I think about it, the etire account is free. I don't pay a dime. And my bank is open every day of the week (the real locations, not just online). I love Commerce Bank [commerceonline.com] .

Better idea. (-1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262886)

I have a much better idea. The United States should implement this as soon as possible. What they do is replace cash completely with a card that stores all of your personal information... name, entire geneology, your DNA, fingerprints, retina scans, blood composition, address, phone number, social security number, your entire credit file... basically, everything someone could possibly know about you. And it would store an amount of money that can be "recharged" from your bank account or whatever. The only catch is, anybody can use the card EXCEPT you. They'll ask for ID everywhere you go, and if it's your card, they won't accept it. This will create a need for higher crime, as people will jack each others' cards in order to buy things, and will create need for a stronger and more diverse police force. I think this is a good idea. But then, I just had nine Bud Lights in two hours, so my thinking might be a little irrational or something.

Re:Better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262904)

Go back to drinking you dumb fuck.

Re:Better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262911)

> "I just had nine Bud Lights in two hours, so my thinking might be a little irrational or something."

This is the reason you're not allowed to drink until you are 21 in US. 9 Bud Lights have you thinking stupid already? Do us all a favor, have 9 more and then go play in traffic.

Re:Better idea. (0, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262984)

i am 23 you dumb fuvck. I been drinking with my buddies for the past two hours and had nine budl ights soi far. Most nights I have a few omre but I'm starting to feel a bit hung over already so I;m gonna stop rignt now.

Do us all a favor, have 9 more and then go play in traffic. Hehheh... I don't drink ad drive.

This is not so new. (1)

Rainier Wolfecastle (591298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262887)

When I first moved to the Netherlands in 1999, I encountered a system very similar to this called KnipChip (or something like that). It was included on all debit cards, but, just as is stated in this article, it's completely anonymous. There's no PIN, no waiting, just instant payment. Good stuff.

I wish that it would take off in more places so that I don't have to sit behind the five idiots who decide to pay for their milk with debit/credit cards at the supermarke.t

Re:This is not so new. (1)

styxlord (9897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262915)

I wish that it would take off in more places so that I don't have to sit behind the five idiots who decide to pay for their milk with debit/credit cards at the supermarke.t

I wish that it would take off in more places so that I didn't have the urge to execute the five idiots who decide to pay for their milk with a check at the supermarket.

Precedented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262889)

How unprecedented, unless you count the photocopy cash cards that have been in use for nearly twenty years, and which are EXACTLY the same thing.

The amazing thing isn't that it's a decade or two old. The amazing thing is that it's a decade or two old, and it isn't a dupe.

security concerns? (4, Insightful)

r0b0t b0y (565885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262891)

i wish the article looked into how the gov't insured that evildoers are not able to illegally hack cards to increase their value (or start counterfeiting cards) ..

the article did mention card refills, so it would seem the chip on the card is (re)writable.

Re:security concerns? (1)

drfrogsplat (644587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262963)

I would guess - though without confirmation from an official source i can't be sure - that the Moneo/smart card system would be similar to VISA etc in that there is a database that stores the information, and to increase your balance illegally would require hacking that

Re:security concerns? (2)

HughsOnFirst (174255) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262989)

In the New York City transit system, the cards just store a unique ID, not the cash or ride value of the card. Thus if they get counterfeited or duplicated ( which is fairly simple from what I understand since they just use a mag stripe ) no new value is created. They were planing to let people use the cards for small purchases at one time but it never happened. That's why the system is pretty secure even though the cards themselves are not. It also as a byproduct creates a track of everywhere you have used your fare card.

Card Reader Writer (1)

Peapod (568493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262892)

Now all I need is a couple of these and a magnetic strip encoder with a little free time to figure out the code.

Cha-ching!

We'll never see this. (0, Flamebait)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262893)

Disclaimer:I'm Canadian.

We, Canadian or American, will never see a cash replacement like this. In case no one has noticed, our goverment/buisness bloc is not down with the idea, and our (the peoples) political will is not enough to counter that.

It's strange to see the banner of liberty go back to the French, after so many years.

Man, I just burnt some Karma, didn't I? It's really not a troll, though.

Re:We'll never see this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262996)

"Man, I just burnt some Karma, didn't I?"

No, a proper Karma-Burning statement would be:

FIRST POST FOR WHITE AMERICANS! DEATH TO NIGGERS, FAGS, JEWS, AND LUNIX USERS!!!!

biblical? (0, Redundant)

jedir0x (522662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262894)

Isn't there something about this in the bible? Spooky eh?

Re:biblical? (1)

claude_juan (582361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262940)

i think i need a quote or something. what are you talking about?

Re:biblical? (1)

DeadMoose (518744) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262979)

"And God said to Josiah, 'Thou shalt not carry bits of parchment and metal with you for currency, for nay, this angers the Lord, your God. I pass down from on high a new material, named plastic, which you shall bind tiny bits of metal to. And upon these tiny bits of metal, you shall place a magnetic message, conveying the monetary value of the piece of plastic.'

"And as such, Josiah went forth to his children and spread the bounty that God had laid down upon him, but they were able to purchase naught with it, for the computers were down."

-- Genesis 68:25-28

What, didn't you pay attention in Sunday school?

We need this in Canada (1, Informative)

HorizonXP (586587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262898)

I work at a retail electronics store (biggest one in Canada, owned by Best Buy now... u know which one.) and we had a customer who worked for a smartcard company. Talking with him, I've been completely AMAZED with what smartcards can do. In a few months, he said, credit cards will be shifting to smart cards, and be rid of the magnetic strips. Our till at the counter has a card reader, both magnetic and smart. I can't tell you how many magnetic strips have caused me problems. Using the smart card reader on the bottom of the unit will be a lifesaver! Also, he talked about this organization that they just finished work with, but I forgot the name. But, basically, it was like a union for construction workers, and they issued smart cards to every worker. And on the smart card, was information about the worker, his credentials, resume, and certificates. He could walk to a job site or contractor, and they scan the card, and it would show it all on the computer, and it was completely valid because all the proper documentation would be pulled up. I thought that was amazing because it reduces tons of paperwork, and forgery too! I think smart cards just make sense, especially when moving to money too. I deal with cash at the store too, but having to find the appropriate change to give to customers is just a pain. Mind you, with our comparitively high-priced items, we don't deal with tons of cash, mostly cards. But, at least with the smaller stuff, customers have the convenience of paying quickly, easily, and with cash they have now, and I have the convenience of not handling cash. It just makes sense, and Canadians would defintely use it in my opinion. We're in love with our cards, heh.

Re:We need this in Canada (1)

Vargasan (610063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262966)

Would be a hell of a lot easier then carrying around 8 tonnes of metal in coin form.

Who thought that many coins, that big, would be a good idea?!

Doesn't work... (5, Informative)

fulgan (116418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262903)

This CashCard has existed here in switzerland for several years. It is, however, largely ignored except for a few places.

The reason for that is simple and the same as why, in France, the new card is not being well accepted: It has an expensive transaction cost compared to the price of the item you purshase (think 10 centims per transaction where you would use it to buy 1 Euro items), the fact that it is far from annonymous and finally the fact that the machine you use to "load" the card is compley and damn slow to manipulate (whant to buy ? Load your credit card, punch your PIN, wait until the bank answer, withdraw your card, load your cashcard, deposit, remove cash card, load it again, buy item - about 5 minutes for the average persone).

The only place here, in Geneva, where it is commonly used is for public phones and for paying for car park. Several articales of the French TV and the words from my French friends shows that the same apply to France.

Giving someone money? (1)

breon.halling (235909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262905)

So how, exactly, is money transferred personally? Are there booths/kiosks available to take $$$ from one guy's card an put it on another? Does one need to do this through a website?

I'm guessing that until the above can be complete solved and adopted, this won't be replacing the paper stuff.

Already done... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262906)

"Moneo can be incorporated onto their existing credit cards -- something that has never been tried outside of France."

We've had these 'cash chips' on credit cards, along with standalone cards, for years in Finland. The only problem is that the system is not used widely enough, so you still need real cash.

Based on this experience, I don't think this French equivalent will succeed much better. Not everyone who handles money can afford the necessary equipment (think about lending money to your friends, etc.)

Is this believable? (1)

amigaluvr (644269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262910)

I don't know about you, but I don't believe this stores no personal information. That's just too good an opportunity for those in 'control' to pass up. Once the electronic infrastructure is in place it is only seconds work to add extra information.

Once that's in place there's no stopping it.

Sounds good to me (2, Interesting)

virtig01 (414328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262914)

This would, in theory, save the Treasury Department a significant amount of money. The Sacagewea (sp) dollar coin was introduced to reduce Americans' dependence on the paper dollar, since a paper dollar must be replaced more often then minted money. I mean, I've got a 1963 nickel in my pocket right now. What's the oldest dollar in your wallet?

Of course, I'm not so certain that this needs to be a government implemented project. Companies in the private sector have already done something similar, see Visa [visa.com] .

And anyway, don't many people choose to be cashless as it is now? When I was in retail, a large percentage of people paid with debit cards linked to a major credit card. There's no cash! John Doe has his paycheck directly deposited in to his checking account, then pays for purchases with his debit card which utilizes a preexisting network system (Visa, Mastercard).

So bottom line: yeah, a (near-)cashless society is cool, but is government intervention necessary?

Re:Sounds good to me (1)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262949)

What's the oldest dollar in your wallet?

Not having dollar notes here (australia) any more, I can't say - but it's still very common to come across the older style first-issue polymer $5 notes. They're running on to over 10 years old now. Occasionally the first-issue $10 polymer notes pop up, but as they were a first-off trial and a bit rarer, it's not so common. They date from 1988.

New spam (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262919)

Now spam will say

"make cashless with your home pc!!"

Low risk of fraud (2, Insightful)

mericet (550554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262922)

At a 100 Euro limit, even the lamest implementation, if moderatly resistant to hacking and with better resistance to a constant charge hack is better than paper money which can be printed en-masse.

So... (1)

Tsunamio (465339) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262926)

Based on just that article, it looks like France has essentially signed their Mint over to various corporations and banks. I suppose having virtual money is convienent (As a student, I get to use it for running down to the vending machine, which is great), but it seems like making this a government-only project thing would be better.

107 dollars/per card (1)

breon.halling (235909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262932)

From the article:

...the cash that's stored onboard can be used by whoever finds it -- which is why there's a $107 storage limit.

If anyone else is wondering about this odd dollar figure as the card's maximum limit, $107USD = approx. 100 Euros.

Australia hasn't had paper money for 10 years! (1)

pflodo (640623) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262936)

The Reserve Bank of Australia introduced polymer [rba.gov.au] notes in 1992.

Compared to other currency (especially U.S.) they are very colourful [rba.gov.au] .

At end-of-life they are recycled just like other plastic into flowerpots etc.

Re:Australia hasn't had paper money for 10 years! (0)

amigaluvr (644269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262964)

The money however is still paper.

This is a common misconception that these notes are 'plastic'. The paper in the money is still the same as our US notes

Just there is a clear plastic window 'sewn' into place. It's no more plastic than an envelope with a clear window

Re:Australia hasn't had paper money for 10 years! (3, Interesting)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263018)

Dunno about in Australia, but here in NZ we introduced polymer notes a few years ago, and they sure aint paper, damed tuff stuff - sure as hell can't tear it.

Ah, cash cards (2, Funny)

chiguy (522222) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262950)

Vending machine: c300

Smart card reader: c200

Smart card burner: c500

Giant magnet: c20

The look on your friends' faces when they see your new house, car, and girlfriend bought with your uber cash card: PRICELESS!

Re:Ah, cash cards (3, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262994)

The look on your face when the cops trace all those fraudulent transactions via the readers and bust your sorry ass: HILARIOUS!

Another type of cash.... (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262962)

A sci-fi writer, (I fogot who), once suggested another form of cash. It was to make cash with radioactive waste. It had a few advantages, it would:

-tend to stay in circulation

-punish the extremely wealthy

-be easy to track bank robber

-make that 'burning a whole in your wallet' a real concern.

The writer was either Niven, Ellison, or Henlein from what I remember. Sorry but I'm well on the way to being drunk so that why I don't remeber. And that why I'm also posting this.

PINs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262970)

The article says you need a PIN to add money to the card (no PIN needed to withdraw, though). Apparently this is for security. I can't think of a single reason how that would increase security, or do anything but be slightly annoying. Anybody care to enlighten me?

Re:PINs? (1)

drfrogsplat (644587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263019)

I'm guessing (and the article didn't say anything and i'm not french, but i do like to speculate :p) that the pin allows you to fill your card up from a nominated bank account - so punching in that PIN replaces you going to an ATM to get out cash.

So the pin is protecting your more significant finances while still giving you the convenience of electronic transfers and not carrying coins

credit authorization for trivial amounts (1)

allotrope (307167) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262972)

today i went in to a starbucks and ordered a latte; i realized i didn't have enough cash and decided to pay with a credit card. the woman behind me did the same thing. it occured to me that for small transactions credit card companies could just allow the "gas station" thing, where you don't acutally have to sign if it is a trivial amount. it seems like that would be a lot more reasonable than adding something else on top that adds complexity and risk.
as a former econ. guy, i have to say that a lot of the coments are very insightful. it doesn't take much flight of fancy to imagine the serious consequences of a system like this breaking down during, say, a national emergency or something.
and duh, since it works like cash it has the drawbacks of cash (wealth is insecure, limit to what you can carry) and some of the hastles of credit cards (i've had card's erased!)

Old news (1)

porksodas (515690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262976)

We've been using that kind of system for years in Belgium, it's called Proton.
It pretty much comes standard on any bank card, and you can charge them in any ATM machine and phone-cell.
It sounds great in theory, and it's way more convenient than real money, but I think there's a serious psychological factor in play here : people not only like to know how much money they have at any time, but they like to be able to feel it. Especially older people are somewhat mistrusting towards technology and banks, and if you combine the two -like here- it's no wonder they don't use it.

In Belgium... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262978)

we have been using it for a couple of years and it's pretty usefull. It's called "Proton".

I don't think the card is that anonymous. At least I suppose there is some id code on it so that abuse can be tracked if hackers find a way to copy data over and over again: total expensed total recharged at machines. At least I hope!

And if someone stole your card, since it's coupled with your traditional bank card, there's no way to recharge it (without code, ..).

We can also recharge it via "PC banking", directly from home, in less than a minute. But you have to use IE, that's the only drawback ;)

About the same as a check card (1)

mako (30489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262983)

As someone mentions above the problem here is that it still does not replace the certainty of cash.

Cash alleviates the anxiety that goes along with not knowing how much money is left on card X, or whether the magnetic stripe on card X will work, or will this restaurant take this type of card? I suspect many would still want to carry "backup" cash anyway defeating the purpose.

As stated in the article business persons may not want to pay the percentage necessary to have one of these machines. I really don't see how this is advantagous to the consumer or to the business person.

fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262987)

muahahahhahaAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

MONEY that _requires_ electricity AND bit-integrity!

oh, /please do/ end paper money, oh france. the International League of Supervillians applauds you.

Card money sucks when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262991)


You see it in the gutter and are not sure whether it's worth your time digging out or not.

No electricity, No card reader = No MONEY!

Unreadable card = No Money! (A smashed torn $20 bill is still good Money!)

the EMP weapon is more deadly to Chip card societies - No computers = No Money! (ok this one is a stretch)

You get the idea -

Store Costs (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262993)

It might become popular with shop owners, by reducing the costs involved with handling cash.

I like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262998)

Why the hell not? It gets rid of the invoncenience of lots of coins yet it still maintains the privacy that you have when paying by cash.

I say we take this before some privacy-destroying super-internet-enabled-megacard is proposed...

Already in use in Switzerland.. (1)

dcavens (178673) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263003)

It's called 'CASH', and for the most part, you use your ATM card as your 'CASH' card. You fill up the cash portion at an ATM, and you can use it anywhere, with no PIN. Works great for vending machines, and at small cafes.

d.

What about ad-hoc cash transfers? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5263006)


I don't see how this is addressed.

(1) What if the babysitter comes to my house and I owe $4.50. Do we both go to the nearest ATM to transfer onto our cards? Will I have a card swipe in my house (most probably not).

(2) The joke about lap dances someone made before my post actually rings true. How does one pay for these kinds of impromptu needs? How do I loan a friend $1 to get a bottle of pop? Do I give them my card to borrow? Would I give them my wallet? Maybe lap dancers will have card swipes strapped on ... somewhere ... for easy payment.

(3) What about counting your cash? Simply, how do you know how much is on your card without going to an ATM to get a readout?

(4) How do you give the kids a few dollars to shop or grab a bite? How do you give them one dollar to grab candy before the movie starts? Do you give them the entire card? Again, do you give your entire wallet / purse for a need like this?

(5) If a card gets snapped in half, then what? When a paper bill is ripped, a taped one is still legal tender. What about cards?

(6) Can someone run a bulk demagnetizer over my card and financially wipe me out? This is a serious concern, folks.

How are these simple needs addressed? I also like to think that the days of paper money are numbered -- but how are these needs met?

Maybe withdrawing all paper cash $5 and over, converting US dollar bills to a system like Canadian $1 and $2 coins for small change needs? Coins are much more convenient than paper that gets folded, spindled, mutilated, torn, etc.

Reason this will never happen in america (1)

Pompatus (642396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263010)

How the hell am I supposed to buy pot with a card????

Don't get it too close to the Speakers... (1, Insightful)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5263017)

Paper cash is reliable. it doesn't disappear in a magnetic field, won't be rendered useless under mild abuse (such as bending, scratching), and will still be accepted by more than a few places taped back together. And who knows...? I might actually want to carry over $107 dollars at a time...!

Abolish Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5263020)

we, as humanity, need to develop far enough so we don't need any form of cash. It would save allot of BS. If only we could be so co-ordinated.
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