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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 29, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Wwinttdiy, Jiniwy 29, 1975 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD 37 Cashless society idea still has futuristic ring NEW YORK (AP) Faced with a volume of che- ques that doubles every 10 years, United States com- mercial banks have been pressing for the start of a chequeless, cashless society. The dream revolves around the Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) through which: can deposit a worker's pay directly into the employee's bank account (Direct Pay electric, telephone and other monthly bills can be paid out automatically by the bank. purchase at a retail store can be accomplished simply by giving the salesman a plastic card that sends a message to the customer's bank via a "point of sale which instantly adds to the store's ac- count, and subtracts from the customer's. Despite the fact that four Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and have Automated Clearing Houses which constitute the nucleus of the EFTS, the idea still has a futuristic ring to it for many people. At least three recent studies, including two done for the American Bankers Association a leading backer of EFTS, show many businessmen are unclear on the advantages of the system. And consumers are fearful EFTS might spell a threat to privacy and control over personal finances. "So far, the operating assumption is that what's good for the banks is good for the said Tom Waage, senior vice-president of the New York Federal Reserve, which plans to install an Automated Clearing House facility in the first quarter of 1975. Commercial banks estimate that the volume of che- ques, given a growth rate of six per cent yearly, will hit 40 billion by 1980. If nothing is done, they say, finan- cial institutions will be faced with the same sort of paper havoc that almost submerged Wall Street in the '60s. They also favor EFTS because cheque processing re- quires a great deal of manpower and cost banks an estimated billion last year. Outlines benefits In a paper prepared by the ABA, the point was made that paperless transfers would benefit consumers by eliminating the need to write many cheques. That would mean a saving on postage, too. The paper also said bankers would be able to devote more time to the customer's "specialized needs, because less time will be needed to handle routine banking services." The government apparently supports commercial banks' efforts to move the EFTS idea forward quickly. Starting in November, the Social Security Ad- ministration, the treasury department and the Federal Reserve began a pilot program in Georgia in which social security recipients may opt to have their monthly cheques sent directly to the bank of their choice. The Georgia experiment is the first of a five-stage project which, if successful, will lead to country-wide electronic transfers of virtually all' government benefits by 1976. But the Georgia program was off to a shaky start. An Atlanta Federal Reserve spokesman said only of social security recipients have chosen to par- ticipate. The four Automated Clearing Houses now in ex- istence have experienced similar start-up problems. Waage said: "Automated Clearing Houses are design- ed to benefit banks but there are no benefits yet for the customer. So far, they've been a bust. A lot of people derive psychic pleasure from having their paycheque in hand." One supposed benefit Automated Clearing House officials point to is the convenience of having banks pay utility bills automatically. "But if you think I'm going to pay those bills without checking them first, you're Waage said. He suggested that banks and employers who want to see EFTS get off the ground should offer concrete monetary and convenience incentives. Equitable Life Insurance Co., for instance, has ar- rangements with policy-holders permitting it to draw premiums directly from the holder's bank account. Equitable sweetened the offer by granting participants a discount on their premiums. Obstacles seen Surveys revealed other issues that apparently trou- ble consumers. In a recent paper, Peter H. Schuck, Washington director of Consumers Union, enumerated several: over personal finances. Under an EFTS arrangement, the consumer would no longer be able "to manipulate one's finances within broad limits, to determine which bills to pay when, and to exploit the benefits of float during the cheque clearing process." of payment. "The cancelled cheque is a con- venient and universally recognized proof of payment. Sucking the thumb prevents tooth decay LONDON (AP) Sucking the thumb is more likely to prevent tooth decay in five- year-olds than brushing the teeth three times a day, says a British government report on tooth decay. The reason, the report said, is that children who suck their thumbs are not as likely to suck candy or sweet drinks. The finding comes from a report called Children's Den- tal Health in England and Wales, a health ministry sur- vey of children. One table in the report com- paring groups of five-year- olds with different tooth- brushing habits, shows that of those who said they brushed three times a day, 72 per cent had tooth decay. But of those who said they brushed once a day or less, 71 per cent had decay. The amount of decay in both cases was the same, the report says, concluding that among those surveyed "there was no systematic variation in disease experience with variation in toothbrushing fre- quency." However other parts of the report showed a correlation between tooth-brushing and decay and the authors stress- ed that they had taken children at their word about brushing frequency and tech- niques. The best to you from Palm. Old Fashioned Ice Cream. PALM DAIRIES LIMITED I c 9 COFFEE MAXWELL HOUSE REGULAR 11b. pkg......................................... FLOUR 239 ROBIN HOOD 20 It. APPLE JUICE ?'1 ALIENS RECONSTITUTED 48 fl.oz. tin R CREAM CORN TOPVALUMfl.07.tin............................................iBF R CHOICE PEAS 3sj00 R COFFEE TEAM 125 NABOB ..................................A WAFFLE SYRUP 100 NABOB 32 n.oz.bottii ..............................A SODAS 100 McCORMICKS SALTED or PLAIN 24 oz.pkg................A ROLLED OATS 129 ROBIN HOOD 5 Ib. pkg...............................A DOG FOOD DOG HOUSE 15 oz. tin...... 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