“Quick and easy is winning the war.”
On January 1st, Londoners woke up to a rather perplexing reality: all of the cashless Oyster card readers on the city’s buses, rail and tube stations had stopped working. With cash as good as banished from the London transport system, attendants had little choice but to wave passengers through open ticket barriers and onto buses without paying, until the problem was fixed.
Serious Pause for Thought
Ironically, the costly glitch came on a day that new fare increases were to be introduced, with journey prices going up by an average of 1%. According to research by the UK Labour Party, rail fares have risen at three times the rate of wages since 2010, with campaigners saying ticket prices have become “increasingly divorced from reality.”
While for London’s commuters the glitch offered a welcome respite from ever-spiraling transport costs, the temporary collapse of the Osyter Card system should give serious pause for thought about our growing dependence on electronic cashless payment systems, especially as government, central banks, financial institutions, credit card companies, and large corporations conspire openly to pull the plug on cash…
Continue reading the article at WOLF STREET