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$7 Billion to get you to use plastic. Having you under their thumb. Priceless.

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When you use cash to buy something you automatically do the following: deprive Big Banking of 3.5 cents on every dollar spent, decrease the likelihood you will be paying interest on the amount of the purchase, and reduce your chances of incurring an overdraft, over limit or late payment fee, just to mention some of the ways Big Banking makes money on plastic transactions.

When merchants accept plastic for a transaction they pay an average 3.5 cents on every dollar. They get their money later rather than sooner. And somehow they have to pass along that cost to their customers, even those who paid cash, in their prices.

Plastic is a great convenience, but it does not come without a cost and ultimately the customer always pays that cost.

So, I'm asking both purchasers and merchants to participate.

Picture this, you just bought you and your new best friend for life coffees at a chic little cafe downtown, price $10. Pay cash -- that's at minimum 35 cents not going to Big Banking. Multiply that by hundreds-of-thousands of people, each a couple of transactions a day, and keep growing the movement until Big Banking cries uncle.

If you're a merchant, please rethink your current policy of charging all customers for the cost of plastic transactions. Even the playing field by offering a 5% discount for cash transactions. You'll have your payment on the day of the purchase and, instead of sending that 3.5% commission to Big Banking, your cash customers will benefit. I don't know about you, but I like my customers a whole lot more than I like Big Banking right now.

Then, we all need to do one more thing to give the Banksters some sleepless nights. Spread the word. Go to www.UseCashMovement.org , download the free signs "Use Cash" and "5% Discount for Cash" tape them to your car windows and storefronts.

Go ahead. It will feel good to take a little power and money away from Big Banking and eventually we'll get a fairer financial system.

Okay, one question: If you're not willing to do this, what are you willing to do get change before it's too late?

1) [Source: Brandweek, Nov. 16, 2009 http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3i8ccf864b12d44b62c9f134a54f95b745 ]

2) [Source: Information Security magazine, January 15, 2009 http://searchfinancialsecurity.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid185_gci1345047,00.html ]

3) [Source: Senate Office of Public Records, reported by OpenSecrets.org, downloaded October 26, 2009 http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indus.php?lname=F&year=a ]

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 
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