Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sweden’s Cashless Economy Comes To America

On Tuesday morning, January 2, 2018, I went to the local post office in Palo Alto to mail a book.  There was no line.  I walked up to the counter, was greeted by a friendly employee, and placed the package on the scale.

The price came to $3.12.  I took out my wallet and coin purse to pay.  She asked me if I had a credit or debit card.  “Why?” I replied.  “Because we cannot accept cash this morning.”  “Why not?” I then asked.  “Is this a test of Sweden’s cashless economy?”  “No.” she replied.  “We are unable to open the safe this morning.”

“But I have exact change,” I said.  “No,” she said.  “Only credit or debit cards are acceptable until we can open the safe.”

I even offered to show my driver’s license with photo to accompany an exact cash payment.  No was still no.

A few customers in line turned around and left the post office.

Welcome to cashless America.  Now I will be prepared for my next visit to Sweden.

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