Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday 221st April - The Visible and Invisible qualities of money

It's like a kind of magic.

I could go through my life without ever actually seeing any money.

I email some paperwork off to some email address; someone I've never seen does something to it, and sends it off to someone else who is somewhere else, and then a letter appears on my door mat telling me how much I've got.

Sometimes it is even an email, rather than a letter.

Everything I buy is paid for by slotting a plastic card into a reader of some kind or other. Sometimes I don't even have to type in the magic number that makes it all work.

Eventually, Barclaycard will wake up and send me a letter telling me how much I owe, and a telelphone call and more pressing of buttons quickly resolves that problem without speaking to anyone at all.

I continually receive requests, invitations, exhortations, even thinly veiled threats, in the form of reduced interest rates or higher charges to encourage, persuade, or require me to switch to internet banking.

Meanwhile, my music pupils continually present me with notes, cheques and clanking coins. Not that I am complaining - I welcome the arrival of all children who come bearing suitable sums of money, whether or not they have practised. Perhaps the welcome may vary in warmth depending on whether or not they have practised, but the money is a considerable sweetener. "A soft answer turneth away wrath" - in my case £14 will have the same effect.

What I would really like, as the next invention, is a USB gadget that one can plug in to the computer, into which you can push the money and send it over the internet to the bank. Now, that's what I would call Proper Internet Banking and Real Magic.


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