Visa urges spending
A recent press release in Philippine Star bannered “Visa urges spending.” In the press release, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines Bob Jouber said that spending wisely means using plastic or electronic money rather than cash or checks.
Joubert also encouraged the public to spend their money not the bank’s money. “People now should use their money rather than the bank’s money through debit cards,” he said.
Now, there’s the catch! Visa is not saying that people should pay in cash but rather use debit cards. For those who are not familiar, a debit card is an alternative way of purchasing. The funds are withdrawn directly from your bank account. So if you have PhP1,000 in your account and you swipe your debit card to pay for that Starbucks coffee, the payment is deducted from that PhP1,000.
So why is Visa urging people to spend? In a nutshell, spending helps the economy grow. In a simplified explanation, if you spend and pay for, let’s say, a pair of shoes, the shoe manufacturer will be able to give salaries to its employees. The employees then would be able to buy food from the grocery. The grocery owner then would be able to pay his suppliers and so forth and so on. Spending money, especially in tough times, is a good thing because it keeps the money flowing from one person to another.
I do agree that people should still spend, even in tough economic times. I also agree that people should stop using their credit cards and pay in cash. But I don’t agree in using your debit card to purchase items.
Why not? Because paying in debit card gives you the impression that you’re using a credit card. It gives you that amazing feeling of being able to afford anything. If you don’t take control of yourself, you will be strongly tempted to just swipe, swipe and swipe that plastic. And then it would be too late to realize that all the money you have in your account is gone!
But when you pay in cash, having those pieces of paper in your hand gives you the impression that it can disappear anytime. You will dilly-dally and think hard before you part ways with your cash.
If you want to spend, go ahead and spend. But always make sure that you use cash for every purchase you make. If you need to swipe any plastic (be it debit or credit card), you can’t afford it.