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Digital receipts aren't a new idea; a few stores have
started to offer them as an
alternative to paper. But what is needed is a
standardized format that all
merchants can use to store and transmit receipts,
perhaps based on XML or some
other data encapsulation method.
Your email address
could be on file with your credit card
company (which it
probably already is). When you pay with a credit card,
you could have your
digital receipt sent to the credit card company, who
would then email it to you. This would save the hassle
(and alleviate the privacy concerns) of having to give
every merchant your email address.
Your mail program could be set to flag digital receipts as
they come in, and you
could review and add them to a database or your
financial tracking program or
whatever (or it could do so automatically, but this has a
potential for abuse by
spammers and such).
Of course, you could still opt for a paper receipt instead
if you pay with cash or
check, or if you just happen to be a Neo-Luddite.
||//Ever notice how casually cashiers ask for your very personal information at the register?//
||I do most of my shopping at local stores, and most of my tech buying is online, so when I bought something at Radio Shack last time it was a surprise when, while ringing up my order, the clerk said, "And may I have your phone number?" Taken by surprise, I just flatly said, "No." It seemed to break something in her brain because she paused as if she wasn't sure what her next move was. Fortunately her boss was right there behind her and muttered, "Just ring it up."
||Several local'ish businesses who needed my name "for warranty purposes" are under the impression my name is "Bearer".
||It's not quite possible but I thought you could be
given a qr code on say a screen at the check out that
you scan with your phone to retrieve your receipt
||alternatively, you could produce a qr code on your
phone that is your unique identifier so the receipt
can be associated to some account.
||//1) Increased cost for the bank to establish such a
system, which WILL be passed on to consumers.//
||The infrastructure is already there for this to happen. I
know certain businesses already transmit breakdowns of
my purchase to the credit card company, because they
show up on my statement in varying degrees of detail.
Some merchants just show the type of item or service
purchased, and some even provide a detailed list of what
I bought. The increased cost is therefore likely to be
||/2) Getting the stores to go along with it. Those
businesses WANT your email address so they can spam
your inbox with their advertisements.//
||Sure they do, but they also want to reduce their costs
where possible. Not having to print receipts for every
transaction could represent a significant savings for a
company, particularly large companies that do business
across the country or world. Besides, the credit card
company can simply mandate it, and the businesses
pretty much have to go along.