France's Shot At Cashless Society Gets Mixed Reviews

from the been-there,-done-that dept

With the exception of the Octopus card in Hong Kong it seems that most attempts at smart cards have failed. Now France is trying to get in on the game by issuing smart cards called “Moneo”. It sounds like the French version is trying to avoid the mistakes that previous smart card failures have made (and, in fact, the system sounds very similar to the Hong Kong system). It’s completely anonymous – so you don’t need a pin number or anything (though, this also means if you lose the card, whatever money you had on it is gone). They’ll also let it work on top of a regular credit card, so people don’t need to carry around one more card. However, like many other trials, it hasn’t caught on that quickly. Shop owners don’t like having to install another terminal. It also isn’t clear how the backers of such a system make money to stay in business. People, it seems, aren’t willing to pay very much money to replace cash. There’s also the cultural issue. Apparently some people, “enjoy the jingle of coins in their pockets”.

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Comments on “France's Shot At Cashless Society Gets Mixed Reviews”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Offer a discount

If the government really wants to do away with cash, then offer the public an incentive to use eMoney. Knock 0.25% off the taxes collected on sales using eMoney.

Or offer a 0.25% tax deduction on all sales for which you can provide receipts proving you used eMoney.

Both suggestions have the benefit of getting customers to shop at stores that accept eMoney, and the second suggestion puts the responsibility on the customer to save their receipts and use them for deductions, and since people won’t save all their receipts and many people won’t bother to save *any* receipts, the government takes a smaller loss on tax revenue.

Of course, if the government isn’t pushing for the adoptation, then neither suggestion will work.

DV Henkel-Wallace says:

French are already fairly cashless

The french are the largest users of ?20s…and the lowest users of other denominations (Source: Le Figaro, 7th or 8th January). Why? Because they use their smart cards more than anyone else. The problem with moneo is it isn’t perceived to be a huge increase in value (my french bank sent me a note in my bank statement touting moneo, and how it could be included in my Carte Bleu…but nothing as to why I might want it.

If Moneo is really private, great. That’s not being touted.

Phibian says:

Cashless In Canada

I’ve been cashless for eight months now (I bought a new purse with no spot for cash and no room for a wallet).

There are a few places where this is a pain (the odd store here and there, the odd farmer’s market) – but I find that I just don’t shop in those places anymore. I use Interac or credit card, and for laundry – the apartment I live in has smart cards that can be refilled easily by Interac, credit card or the cash machine (feed in bills) – a vast improvement over the coins previously required.

The only time my household even gets cash (my husband still carries an average of $5 Cdn / month) is when well-meaning friends pitch in for pizza or something, and we spend it on parking (very rarely) and donuts (once every six weeks). And since the Tim Horton’s down the street just started offering Interac, and most parking kiosks in this city offer credit card payments, I suspect that he will be going cash-free pretty soon too.

Phibian says:


Incidentally, I should add that rather than another “smart card” I’d personally prefer being able to use my Interac or Credit Cards in more places. I think it sucks not being able to retrieve money from the card if you lose the card – but I also see the benefit of being able to limit the risk of theft. Ideally, I’d like to be able to set up my various bank and credit card accounts so that debits to particular customers could have a limit – that way, say you place a $20 limit / total on Blue Line Taxi – if anyone (including you) tries to go over that limit, it would be denied. If you wanted to increase/adjust the limit, you could through tele/internet banking at any time.

Squtos (user link) says:

Re: Cashlessness

“Are you not familiar with the book of revelations [that he sent to] john, the final book of the bible prophesizing the apocalypse? ‘he forced everyone to receive a mark on his right hand, or on his forehead, so that no one shall be able to buy or sell unless he has the mark which is the name of the beast, or the number of his name, and the umber of the beast is 666.’ what can such a specific prophesy mean? what is the mark? well the mark is the barcode, the ubiquitous barcode that you’ll find on every [unintelligible] and every package [unintelligible], and
every barcode is divided into two parts by three markers, and those three markers are always represented by the number 6, 666! now what does it say? no one shall be able to buy or sell without that mark! and now, what they’re planning to do in order to evaporate all credit card fraud and in order to precipitate a totally cashless society, what they’re planning to do, what they’ve already tested on the american troops, they’re going to subcutaneously laser tattoo that mark onto your right hand, or onto your forehead, they’re going to replace plastic with flesh!


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