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Sneak Preview From  Part 2, Page 6

You may remember the old Visa commercials that were nationally broadcast that hailed the use of plastic and mocked the use of cash. One commercial had a rollicking version of Louis Armstrong singing “When the Saints Go Marching In” while a bunch of New Orleans Saints football fans were getting ready for game day by buying lots of stuff at a sports store. One by one they laid down their Visa cards to purchase their paraphernalia. These were real men. Real sports fans. Real Americans. Then a guy wearing a pink shirt and a sweater tied around his neck—obviously an outdated preppy—stepped up to buy some tennis balls. It’s obvious that he’s clueless. But his real crime? He paid with cash instead of plastic. The music stopped as the vendor gave him a “What, are you kidding me?” look and begrudgingly handed the customer his change. When the guy leaves, the music kicks back in, and the real football fans can get back to buying stuff with Visa. The ad ended with the now-familiar words, “Visa makes it easier for fans to get ready for game day. Life takes Visa.”

Another commercial titled “Lunch” was set in a crowded food court at lunchtime with people busily obtaining their food and drinks with the timing and precision of a factory assembly line. The music was upbeat and fast-paced. One after another the customers received their order, swiped their Visa card, and moved on—with no signature required. The engine of commerce hums flawlessly. That is, until a man dared to hand the checkout lady a few well-worn dollar bills for his food. Everything came to a dead stop, including the music. Chaos ensued. Trays of food fell to the floor, drinks spilled, and the line came to a screeching halt. There was dead silence. The other customers glared at him in disgust. His “foolish” decision to use cash had clogged the well-oiled gears of progress. He quickly moved on, the next man in line swiped his card, and the music revved back up. At the end of the commercial, a narrator stated, “The Visa check card—because money shouldn’t slow you down. Life takes faster money. Life takes Visa.”

These commercials were a window into the changing climate of how people transact business. More and more, cash is giving way to cashless means of payment.......What does this mean for those of us that are traditionalists and who refuse to catch up with the times in terms of being more electronic payment savvy?

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