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No Cash Payments? Now What?

Whether it’s ordering take-out from an app-based food delivery service or using a rideshare app to get home, cash may not be an option for payment. More retailers are now accepting cashless payments to reduce exposure to high-touch surfaces. When you are used to paying with cash, this can be challenging. Here are some of the options available to you other than cash or traditional credit and debit cards.

Prepaid Cards

A prepaid card allows you to use a card to make purchases at stores or to pay bills online without accessing a bank account or using a credit card. These cards usually are not linked to a checking or savings account and require you to load money onto the card upfront. Some types of prepaid cards include reloadable prepaid cards, payroll cards, government benefit cards, and gift cards.

Mobile Banking Technology

Banking technology and services provide the convenience of conducting banking transactions with your computer, smartphone, or mobile device. If you aren’t using these services, ask your bank if the following are available to you and how you can activate them.

Money transfer services: Person-to-person payment services and mobile payment apps have become part of everyday life for many people. Payment services and apps let you send money to people without having to write a check, swipe a card, or give them cash.

Online bill pay or e-bill services : These programs generally allow you to sign up on your bank’s website to pay your bills electronically. You may also be able to receive bills electronically.

Contactless payments: Often referred to as tap-and-go by banks and retailers, contactless payments are a secure method for consumers to purchase products or services using a debit, credit, or smartcard (chip card) by using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology or nearfield communication (NFC). To make a contactless payment at a store, tap your card near a point-of-sale terminal equipped with contactless payment technology.

Safety Tips for a Digital Economy

Pay attention to your purchases. Be sure to monitor your credit card bills and bank statements, as well as app and other online transactions for unauthorized purchases or withdrawals. Immediately contact your bank if you see anything suspicious.

Consider signing up for alert services. Many credit card issuers, banks, and mobile app providers offer services that notify you about certain account activities, such as recent logins from unrecognized devices. Most banks that offer mobile banking also allow you to sign up for alerts on your mobile device or email to notify you if your account balance drops below a set dollar amount. This can help you avoid overdrawing your account. You might also be able to request text alerts if your bank observes suspicious or potentially fraudulent transactions involving your account. Some banks even let you set spending limit alerts to help keep track of your spending.