How Often Do You Check Your Statements and Receipts?
One of the more interesting aspects as we move towards a cashless society is the idea or hard concept of receipts.
We are moving to a world of ease, easy payments, just touch and go, contactless just waive our cards, make payment and quickly be on our way.
Digression: Has anyone noticed lately when they make payment at a till the cashier asking if you want a receipt?
This can be a contactless payment, chip and pin, even cash (the sordid stuff), no matter how you pay for a purchase, they ask you, do you want your receipt.
And “us”, being the “green” folk that we are, not wishing to see any more Amazon Rain Forest trees be chopped down all for the sake of pulp and paper say, no thank you.
So we wander off aimlessly with our purchase in hand, thinking we have been green, not used any paper, and also have been of the modern age and used plastic to pay for our purchase, and in general, feel good about ourselves.
But yet, we have made a huge error in our concepts of how to live our financial lives.
We have not receive immediate feedback from our purchase in the form of a receipt, and I dare say, we probably did not log onto our online banking or credit card statements to check and insure all is well with our accounts.
I dare say.
Why this digression….read on….
My immediate and soapbox stance digression is to prove a point.
We are now living in an immediate and quick world; payments by waiving a card past a terminal, and also by having our card details already logged in an account online.
You want a coffee on the go, you will wait longer for the Barista to write your name on the cup, and make your cafe, mocha, latte, frapawhatever, then it takes to pay for it, or for you to check the amount you are charged is correct.
And is the amount you have been charged correct?
And if it is or it is not correct, how will you know?
We can pay immediately and quickly, so we need to check our statements and accounts just as immediately.
How Immediate Are Our Financial Transactions???
So you may ask yourself, OK, I make a purchase, how quick does the money come out of my account?
Pretty, pretty, quick. Like now, like right at the moment. It may not be actually debited, but it is a pending transaction, and the money is on hold and you no longer have access to it.
There was a gentleman in Manchester who purchased a £5.50 bottle of beer, and was charged £55,000….yes that is right fifty five thousand pounds!
He did not check his receipt, but felt something was a miss. Then sure enough, £55,000 was taken from his account.
Suppose he, you, us, did not have £55,000 in our account, then what?
I don’t think the bank would arrange an immediate overdraft to cover just the one bottle of beer.
Visa made a statement regarding the incorrect charge and stated it is important to check your receipts and statements, that is like Sherlock Holmes telling Dr. Watson he lives at 221B Baker St, but Visa in a statement said, “Visa does not make decisions to authorise payments. It is the responsibility of a cardholder’s bank who will make a decision based on a number of factors including the funds available.”
“We will work with both the cardholder’s and merchant’s banks to help resolve this error.”
The moral of this little tale:
Get your receipts, take the small piece of paper, review them before you leave where you have made payment, and insure they are correct.
Lest you pay £55,000 for a glass of ale.