For decades, I’ve pleaded with you to not use debit cards because they are not safe. And for years, I warned my sons about the dangers of riding motorcycles because they are not safe.
Has anyone listened and taken heed? Debit cards are more popular than ever. And on the subject of motorcycles in my family, to date I have a 50-percent fail rate. For me, debit cards are the motorcycles of custom bobbleheads
I’ve concluded that the best I can do now that so many refuse to give up their debit cards (and motorcycles) is to nag, preach and harangue on the importance of crash helmets and safety equipment.
The odds are stacked against you in both debit cards and motorcycle travel. You must know what you are dealing with, how to react and what to do when things turn ugly.
Think like a bank. For you, a debit card is a convenience. For your bank, it’s a huge moneymaker. If you allow your account balance to get too low, you could get socked with big bounce fees. If you forgot to track a few small debits and a large check comes through later in the same day, many banks will hold the small debits and honor the large check first and then charge you a $34 bounce fee for each debit transaction that exceeds your balance.
Create a cushion. If you use a debit card, you cannot afford to let your account run low. Figure out a way to keep a cushion that you never use as your protection against inadvertent bouncing.
Keep track. Banks will not stop you from using your debit card just because your account runs dry. In fact, they are quite happy when this happens so they can whack you with huge fees. Get online access at your bank’s website so you can check your balance and account activity every day.
Stick to cash. Cash is cool because it is limiting. Cash can’t bounce. I find spending cash keeps me more aware of what I’m doing. Plastic just isn’t the real thing. Retailers love to see you swipe a plastic card for payment because they know you’ll spend more in their store than if you are limited by the cash in your wallet.
Deposits slow, debits fast. Don’t assume you’ll have immediate access today to funds you deposited today. Most banks place a hold on deposits for a few days; others for up to a week. And if your debits come through while the deposit is on hold? Brace yourself. It will be just as if you had never made the deposit.
Speak up. Don’t assume anything. A bank’s policies and guidelines can change overnight, so keep up. And if you get burned by your bank, don’t take it lying down. Explain your situation, and ask them to waive the fees and penalties. If your bank or credit union isn’t known for its customer-friendly policies, remember there are plenty out there that are.
What do small businesses get for their $299? First, the Square Stand is pretty. In glossy, rounded white plastic, the device is the most Apple-like thing not made by Apple I’ve ever seen, right down to its packaging. Compared with the ugly cash register you’ll find at your favorite lunch spot, it’s stunning. More than that, the Square Stand is fast. Square’s free credit card reader sometimes requires patient, slow swiping, which isn’t ideal for businesses that attract long lines of customers at peak times. Jack Dorsey, Square’s founder, says the Square Stand incorporates two credit card sensors and has a long swiping strip, allowing cashiers to swipe your card in any direction, make your own bobblehead
The Stand also makes for quick integration with other payment hardware commonly found in small stores—just plug your cash drawer, barcode scanner, or receipt printer into the system’s USB hub and you’re done. This sounds like a small thing, but it’s not. My sister owns a bakery in Southern California. A couple of years ago, when I set up her cash drawer and receipt printer with a rival iPad payments system, it took me an hour or so of impatient technical fiddling to get the whole thing to work. That won’t be necessary with the Square Stand.
Though this new product seems cool and useful, the fact that Square put so much into improving the credit card-swiping experience caught me off guard. Square has always seemed like a software company masquerading as a hardware firm. The credit card reader was just a bridge to the future—a future in which customers and businesses would connect to one another wirelessly, making payments invisible, frictionless, and elegant.
As Dorsey explained to me last year, most other companies that are working to digitize payments are just trying to improve what he calls “payment mechanics”—that is, they’re trying to find a way to replace cash and credit cards with your phone. But Dorsey rightly sees no great benefit to paying with your phone instead of your card; you’ve still got to pull something out of your pocket and wave it in front of a payment device. In Dorsey’s perfect future, we’d all dispense with phones and cards and cash, and instead we’d pay by doing nothing: The cashier would recognize you, add your purchase to your tab, and you’d be on your way, the payment never becoming an awkward barrier between buyer and seller.
Topic:Life's Story - Genre:Diary
- 2013/05/15(水) 16:29:54|
- Bond cleaning sydney