2010 – Iki-shi, Nagasaki-ken, Japan, Earth


Money money money!  (Money!)Going traveling up to Tokyo on May 1st, so I pulled out 50,000 yen to pay for my time while I’m up there.  (About $550 at current exchange rates, maybe.)  The American cash was emergency cash that I pulled out of my bank account when someone started using a ghost version of my credit card and making fraudulent charges everywhere.  I forgot to change it to yen when I arrived at the airport.  (I was sleepy!)  What I find interesting is that, in general, I rarely if ever carried the amounts of cash on me in America than I do in Japan.  Japan is a decidedly cash-based economy.  Which can be frustrating for things like splitting checks when one only has 10,000 yen bills, or when you need gas and the ATMs just closed (yes, ATMs close), or when you’re just plain out of money and none of the grocery stores take credit cards, so how the hey do you eat?  (This has never actually happened to me.)

I think it’s especially interesting in view of an article I read in the NYT today (April 30) in which the writer described a shiny new dime-sized gadget for iPhones and iPads that scans credit cards without the need for a machine.  If it catches on, then could it finally signal the end of cash at all in America?  We’ll see.


2 responses

  1. I don’t like to think of the end of hard cash. That’s not smart at all…especially when there’s this new thing crooks are doing here in the states called “skimming”–essentially putting their own card readers on an ATM or in a gas pump or putting it with a camera so they can read the PIN number. Makes me never want to use my card again (although I never use it as debit–only as credit).

    Even though I say this, I still never have more than like $20 on me at a time, which I think is probably unwise of me…

    May 1, 2010 at 03:28

    • K@

      When I was in the states I never had cash on me, so it was very strange to come back and have to truck around that much money.

      The iPhone app/tool doesn’t seem like it would be vulnerable to such schemes, or at least it would be poor business practice for small businesses to do that, because then word of mouth would lower their business. (I speak as someone who’s credit card was recently skimmed at a walgreens. I’m never using them again.) And in other cases, it seems like the person you send your info to is someone you trust–but it’d be like sending partial info only, since it still goes through a credit card company.

      Here’s the article, if you’re bored: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/technology/29cashless.html

      May 1, 2010 at 10:16

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