The Wall Street Journal ran an article about a company that has been issuing pieces of paper that looks like play money. It can be used to get discounts on the company’s product line: tires.
It has been doing this for half a century. It says there are $100 million in “money.”
It is so familiar that other companies offer products in exchange for the bills.
It’s mostly advertising. But it has been around so long that the “money” is known all over the nation. I think that is a very effective form of advertising.
The company says it’s going to replace the paper money with a credit card. “We’re taking the focus away from money, and moving towards a 21st-century model,” said Rob Shields, senior vice president of marketing at Canadian Tire. “It’s the evolution of currency.”
This is the way we are heading: digital money. The company is responding to a trend. The bad news: we will lose our privacy if paper money disappears. But it is disappearing. This is not just an American problem.
It’s easier to use digital money. It’s also easier for the government to track what we buy.
This is a market-driven phenomenon. It’s like when we moved from currency to checks two generations ago. Checks left records. Currency didn’t.
Digits leave far more detailed records. The information is cheaper to access by government agencies.