CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


Industrial Automation Blog

Industrial Automation

The Industrial Automation Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about machine control, information and intelligence, motors and drives, instruments, sensors and networking. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Don’t Miss the 25th Annual Automation Fair® Event!   Next in Blog: Molecular Imaging Hack Makes Cameras "Faster"
Close
Close
Close
14 comments

How Technology Evolves Money

Posted November 30, 2016 10:41 AM by HUSH

Our financial futures are closely tied to the rise of automation and electronification. Considering this is CR4, this won’t come as a surprise. Technology has always heavily influenced not only what people spend on, but also how they spend.

But the changes to society’s financial institutions are happening much more quickly than some might expect. Here are two examples:

McDonalds Kills Cashier (Jobs)

Lately, the National Burger Factory, a.k.a. McDonald’s, has begun eliminating cashier jobs in states where the minimum wage is expected to soon hike up to $15 an hour, and will continue to do so in 2017. Those states are New York, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington.

McDonald’s, the second largest employer in the world as of 2012, argues it can’t afford to pay workers $15 an hour. To begin cost cutting, restaurant patrons make orders at a kiosk and wait at a table while humans cook and deliver the food. According to Glassdoor, the average cashier wage is $8.53. The McDonald’s closest to me is 24/7/365. Employing just one cashier at a time for one year for an always-open restaurant costs nearly $75,000 annually. Considering this, it is actually surprising that kiosks haven’t happened sooner.

McDonald’s has had increased competition from fast casual burger joints like Five Guys and Shake Shack in recent years. The company has noticed that customers who order from kiosks tend to order more food, in addition to the cost savings it offers. Once other fast food restaurants start to rollout order kiosks, the entire burger cooking and packaging task is next to be automated. The technology has existed since the 1990s, but has been waiting for the moment when economies of scale finally made the technology commercially viable.

No Krona For You

Sweden is preparing to be the first country that eliminates physical currency in favor of digital currency.

For nearly 150 years Sweden’s currency has been the krona, which translates as crown in English. It was also Denmark’s and Norway’s currency up until World War I. As a U.S. dollar can be exchange for 100 pennies, a Swedish krona can be exchanged for 100 öre.

Yet Sweden is currently reforming its currency. Since the 1970s, Sweden has been reducing the amount of öre coins it prints, first ceasing production of 1 and 2 öre coins, then 5 and 25 öre denominations were eliminated, and then the 10 öre coin. In 2010, the last öre coin, the 50, was retired from use. Next, the country is requiring all 1, 2 and 5 kronor coins to be of a new, updated design. Old designs will no longer be considered tender after June 30, 2017.

Slowly but surely, the country is now phasing out the use of banknotes. It has eliminated 1,000 and 10,000 kronor notes, and forced the country to adopt new designs of other notes, lest they become worthless as well.

Since 2009, physical money circulation in Sweden has fallen 40%. Swedes instead utilize credit cards, typically armed with microchips, or smartphones with apps linked to accounts that pay via near-field communication readers.

Most Swedish banks refuse to accept or deal in physical tender, as it adds too much labor or incentive for robbery. Banks also charge negative interest rates in Sweden, so the more money a person has in their electronic account, the more the bank is making. The government supports reducing the need to regulate and print money, and tax evasion is almost impossible when all funds can be electronically audited. Merchants won’t have to keep tabulate physical currency or worry about dishonest employees.

It seems consumers are the only ones seeing the potential downsides, with omnipresent purchasing surveillance one of the most prominent issues.


Both of these examples present how technology is reshaping our relationships with money. In one instance it changes how some people earn their money, in the other how people can use their money.

Is it possible that changes to the fundamental idea of money are next?

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6145
Good Answers: 638
#1

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

11/30/2016 7:34 PM

I very seldom use cash these days. It is too convenient to use the credit card, and I realize that I have voluntarily made my life an open book for anyone with the means and desire to track my transactions.

Having said that, I find the idea of doing away with cash completely to be really scary. Maybe younger generations will have no problem with it, just as many seem to have no desire for privacy and are willing to put anything online.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 20316
Good Answers: 1187
#2
In reply to #1

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

11/30/2016 11:28 PM

I agree and I don't think that will happen here anytime soon....Having cash in your pocket is associated with freedom to much to be given up...like having a car....Most modern gizmos are freedom inducing, like the mobile phone, the internet, having choices of ways to pay is just an extension of those freedoms....This would seem to Americans as Orwellian in nature and be rejected, after all clandestine movement of money is a big chunk of this economy....more than most people would acknowledge...

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6145
Good Answers: 638
#3
In reply to #2

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 10:43 AM

I hope you're right, but it wouldn't be the first time we've been sold a bill of goods.

Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Moderator - CR4 Moderator United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 867
Good Answers: 15
#4

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 12:25 PM

Where would payment kiosks leave people who don't have a credit or debit card? Will they also take cash, like those automated checkout lines at the grocery store?

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South of Minot North Dakota
Posts: 8399
Good Answers: 772
#5
In reply to #4

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 12:34 PM

A buddy of mine is starting to have a heck of time now due to his having such a horrible credit rating no bank will let him open up an account so thusly he has no debit cards and again due to his bad credit rating the only credit cards he can get are the pay up front ones which come with a pretty high service fee as well.

Really, I don't feel bad for him though. it was totally self induced and he knew he was doing it because he felt that big lottery win or hot new wealthy girlfriend/future wife was just around the corner that would bail him out. Felt that way for a good 15 years and counting. The creditors however didn't and still don't.

At least we got him moved out of his parents basement well before he turned 40!

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 20316
Good Answers: 1187
#6
In reply to #4

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 2:00 PM

I ran into a situation travelling on the I-95 down here a while back....I got off an exit ramp to a unmanned booth that required exact change $.50, though I had plenty of money and credit cards, no change....well I just kept going, what could I do? Several weeks later I got a letter in the mail with a picture of my car and violation demanding payment with fine $3.50...WTF? So I sent them $5. just in case it happens again, they can't say I didn't pay....ha Should install one of those disappearing plates....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Moderator - CR4 Moderator United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 867
Good Answers: 15
#7
In reply to #6

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 2:14 PM

Same thing happened to friends of mine who evacuate to FL in the winter. Up here a lot of people have EZ-Pass for toll roads. Whatever you've got in FL isn't EZ-Pass. They got a picture of their license plate and a bill.

Massachusetts recently (end of October) did away with toll booths completely on the MassPike. If you don't have EZ-Pass you get a bill, and the bill is a good bit higher than the original toll. This strikes me as not fair to motorists who live in states without EZ-Pass. What are you supposed to do, get an EZ-Pass for the 2.5 hours it takes to traverse the state?

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6145
Good Answers: 638
#8
In reply to #7

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/01/2016 3:25 PM

I read a story about someone that had an EZ-Pass. They moved out west somewhere and didn't need it anymore, so they mailed it back. Unfortunately the mail truck went through a lot of toll gates and ran them up quite a bill.

(I don't know if this is true, but it makes a good story.)

Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Moderator - CR4 Moderator United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 867
Good Answers: 15
#9
In reply to #8

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 8:10 AM

Guess it depends on how sensitive the readers are. My EZ-Pass (issued by NY State) came with a metallized envelope to use to return it. Maybe that barrier would prevent the problem of running up tolls . Be interesting to find out if this story could be true, whether the story is true or not.

Reply
Member

Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5
#10
In reply to #9

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 9:44 AM

It can be true. My mother mailed her NY Ez-Pass back to the state from Maine without the metallized envelope. The USPS truck ran through the Ez-Pass scanners in ME, NH, and NY getting there. She called them up and they cancelled the bill. 2012-2013 time frame.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6145
Good Answers: 638
#13
In reply to #10

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 9:00 PM

Aha, I bet it was your Mom I read about!

Reply
Guru
United States - Member - Born, raised halfway 'round .....

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Speedway.....
Posts: 1044
Good Answers: 23
#11
In reply to #7

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 2:17 PM

I believe Florida has a toll system called "Sun-pass" which has some signage similarities with the EZ-pass signs!

I too got tiicket /fined via mail by the Sunpass people for toll evations, not paying close attention to their logo!

Up in NY /NJ areas they have posted signs that EZ-pass tags are readily available, being sold /issued at every manned toll booths... Not sure about upstate?

__________________
vsar
Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - EE from the the Wilds of Pa.

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2560
Good Answers: 60
#12

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 3:57 PM

omnipresent purchasing surveillance

Yeah - I guess so. I can search for some bike part on my PC at home, and the next day at work - bingo - there are several ads for similar parts on my work PC. I also get email ads to my email at work with my Wife"s first name as the person the ad is for, and she never uses my work PC. Quite nice how they can tie things like that together, isn't it?

Probably the best one is the industrial newsletters, that actually have customized advertisements embedded in them. I searched for a model number of an instrument early one morning and by mid morning I got one of the industrial newsletters for flow and process instruments, and there, right smack in the product reviews was the exact model I had searched for a few hours earlier. I said "coincidence" although there really is no such thing. So I tried again the next day that newsletter was to come, and got the same result with a different instrument. That newsletter is watching me.

__________________
Remember when reading my post: (-1)^½ m (2)^½
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6145
Good Answers: 638
#14
In reply to #12

Re: How Technology Evolves Money

12/02/2016 9:14 PM

Same here. I search for something out of pure curiosity and within a day I get lots of ads for exactly what I was searching for. It's not coincidence. I think it's Google sending you targeted ads.

They're not furnishing you a free search engine, somebody is paying.

It can be a good thing, but sometimes it's irritating when I've bought something and get an ad that's cheaper.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 14 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

BestInShow (3); ChemEngStan (1); Phys (1); Rixter (5); SolarEagle (2); tcmtech (1); vsar (1)

Previous in Blog: Don’t Miss the 25th Annual Automation Fair® Event!   Next in Blog: Molecular Imaging Hack Makes Cameras "Faster"

Advertisement