Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Do you take cash?

Wendy's is a huge fast food chain. 300 of their shops have been hit by the presence of malicious software on their point-of-sales systems.

I have a credit card, but here's the list of where I use it.

1) Paypal and Amazon.
2) When buying petrol, because the purchase tends to be largish.
3) HMRC, for online payment of taxes such as VAT. Actually, I trust the HMRC systems sufficiently that I even use a debit card.

And that's just about it. For everything else, I use cash.

With a debit card, if you're defrauded, you probably lose out. With a credit card, you'll probably get a refund, but only after toing and froing somewhat. But with cash, my liability is limited. I could lose my wallet (hasn't happened in 50 years) or I could get mugged (hasn't happened), but in either case, I lose about £100. Limited liability. And I do not have to worry about the reliability of the people I'm paying - will the waiter make a note of my card number? Will there be a printed record that they subsequently put in a skip? Has the point of sale device been skimmed?

Not my problem, because I'm paying cash.

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