Peter Robinson on those irritating little things that are sent to try us…
Once the transaction is complete, then comes the receipt. (And, in the case of WH Smith, numerous vouchers.) Would you ever return a coffee? How about a packet of Minstrels? Petrol? Bits of paper in my wallet right now, some dating back weeks, offer me this option. In the digital age the receipt feels like the most incongruous till-related woe of the lot.
I love till receipts! Well, to be more accurate, my new kitten loves ‘em – they are more fun to chase than all the toys I’ve bought him.
But Peter has a vision of the future that will do away with these annoying little scraps forever!
All it will take is…well, more money, organisation and buy-in from both companies and consumers than will ever be likely to happen, but hey, it’s a dream, right?
Ideally, we’ll move to a point where every transaction we make is somehow dumped into a online account with exciting graphs that tell you how much you’re spending. Budgeting would be easier: there’s nothing quite like a massive pie chart telling you that a cup of coffee each day amounts to almost a thousand quid each year – and that’s before you’ve been upsold the occasional muffin – to help you assess your spending.
Truly, an ideal for the Digital Generation! Where nothing need ever be done by yourself, but where machines do it all for you and present it for your delectation.
Say, wait. Wasn’t that the plot of ‘Wall-E’..?
Who will push through this vision? I wouldn’t trust banks to project manage a workable solution this side of our next Eurovision win – HSBC still protects its online banking with security-code generators that resemble an item you’d have been disappointed to find in a mid-1980s Christmas cracker. All it needs is one standardised, fully functional system to be adopted by all major supermarkets, leading high street retailers, all the banks, and HM Revenue & Customs.
Oh, is that all it needs? Well, that’s not too hard to accomplish, surely?