One of the unplanned effects of modern payment methods is that we are becoming less aware of the price we pay for things.  As we tap and go through transport turnstiles, and at the many thousands of locations where we use plastic to pay for our coffee, our lunch or whatever, the price of the things we buy has been relegated to the background.  For those fortunate enough to have enough wealth not to account for every penny, these transactions disappear in the plethora of digital noise that surrounds our lives. For those less fortunate, however, it makes the business of managing their money far harder. Cynically, it also allows retailers, transport providers and others to increase their prices without the consumer always being fully aware of the insidious increases.
The primary driver of these changes has been the introduction of contactless payments.  This increasingly successful payment method comes with the expectation that we won’t receive a receipt for the transaction, and, as a direct result, the chance to reflect on the price of individual items purchased has been removed.  A further cause has been the introduction of card on account, one-click shopping services, such as those offered by Amazon and many others.  These distance the buyer from the act of consciously considering the cost of the item and make shopping a therapeutic activity rather than a financial transaction that has to be paid for from available funds.  And the ever growing move to link on-line shopping services to instantly arranged lines of credit, only serves to further separate the act of shopping from its financial consequences.
For those in society able to manage their finances effectively; those happy souls who studiously go through every payment card statement and account for every penny, this situation offers no real threat and many opportunities.

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