Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Ever Happended to "Real" Money

Well the Christmas shopping rush is over save for those Boxing week sales.  I took the sensible road this year and got all of my shopping done early.  I must admit it felt good to have my buying and wrapping done well before the 25th thus allowing me the opportunity to sit back and relax a bit.
  Having spent the early part of my career with Canadian Tire I find it interesting to note the changes that have taken place in the retail landscape over the past few years.  One of my pet peeves is the checkout lines especially in the grocery stores.  The so-called "express" checkouts are anything but largely due to the various methods of payments now being used by today's consumers.  We still have cash which appears to be used less and less, debit cards, some with chips some without and of course credit cards. Then there are the point-of-sale terminals themselves. Some you swipe the card with the stripe in, some the stripe is out. Have you noticed how confusing those diagrams are depicting how the card is to be inserted.  Maybe they are some form of a secret aptitude test?  With a chip card you insert the card in the bottom.  Some are touch screens others are not.  Some ask you if you want cash back and so it goes, on and on which ultimately leads to prolonged waiting in the check-out line.    The most recent cards featuring a chip for added security are in my estimation proving to be a greater headache and security risk than cards without the chip. Why?  Well numerous times over the holidays I have seen both debit and credit cards left behind in the bottom of the card reader by the unsuspecting user and I am sure many of you have seen this as well.  Unlike bank and other ATM machines, there is no audible warning to remind you to remove your card when the transaction is complete and there should be. 
It's a little late now I suppose but some degree of industry-wide standardization governing the design, features and security of point-of-purchase payment terminals would surely have offered consumers greater piece-of-mind if not a faster payment process at the checkout.  As far as the grocery stores, how about a true "express" line, 1 to 8 items CASH ONLY!  Okay it will never happen but I for one would welcome the no-muss, no-fuss opportunity of paying with cash when picking up a handful of items to get in and out of the store quickly.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.