Why are dollars called bucks?
Issue 362 | 22 July 2022
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Why are dollars called bucks? Your guide to global money slang
Ever wondered how money slang was “coined”? Wise have been wondering and have popped on their spectacles, stretched their fingers out and gone to town on Google Search.
Just because the chances of us having actual physical money at hand are lower than in the past doesn’t mean you can’t flex your slang skills like the citizen of the world you are. Wise ask the big questions like “why are dollars called bucks?”, “what British money slang can I use to make it look like I’m in a Guy Ritchie film?” and “why on earth am I reading this article?”
Here’s one example of Wise’s Google Search:
Wonga. What a word. Believe it or not, this little wonder is Romany for “coal”, which was slang for money in the 18th to 19th century. How did it make its way over to the UK? No idea, but we’re glad it did.
Check mate: How the industry is dealing with declining check (cheque) usage
Check volumes have been declining at an average yearly rate of 15% since 2017, however, each market is reacting differently to this trend.
Ana Isabel Cosío, Lipis Advisors
Some markets have fostered cheque reduction and even elimination, whereas others are leaving the market to naturally reduce their use. Nonetheless, reductions in cheque usage are an ongoing conversation between stakeholders in the payments space. Motivations include reducing costs, increasing sustainability, and supporting migration to newer payment methods such as to real-time payments. Most cheque reduction / elimination efforts have been government-led or involved various public sector authorities.
Ana’s article provides a number of country case studies:
South Africa: Eliminated cheques in December 2020 (with just 12 months notice period).
Singapore: Committed to eliminating cheques by 2025.
Japan: Committed to reduce paper-based cheques by 60% between 2019 and 2023.
In the UK the cheque is experiencing a long and terminal decline. In the 12 months to the end of May 2022 we see that:
Cheque volumes have decreased by 14% (12 months to April 14%).
Cheque values have decreased by 4% (12 months to April 3%).
Volumes processed by the Image Clearing System in May were 4% lower than during May 2021 but values had increased by 2%. Although volumes are falling as many have undoubtedly switched to digital payment options, there is clearly still an underlying level of usage which continues to be seen in this method of payment.
With volumes of digital payments continuing to increase, the share of legacy payments within the total continues to fall.
For the twelve months to May 2021 the volume of Cheque payments accounted for 1.7% of the total (for Bacs / CHAPS / Faster Payments and Image Clearing System) falling to 1.4% for the 12 months to May 2022 - however for the month of May itself the percentage had fallen further to 1.2%
Lipis Advisors: Check mate: How the industry is dealing with declining check usage.
Northey Point: Payments Tracker.
Can instant refunds boost the retail sector?
The pandemic has caused more people to shop online and to do so more frequently. To keep this momentum in an era of profit warnings and charging for returns, Open Banking can help retailers drive brand sentiment and customer loyalty, and encourage repeat purchases with instant refunds.
We’ve seen the retail sector in a state of flux this year, with stores such as Zara and Boohoo announcing changes to their return policies. Retailers are also battling a cost of living crisis, which is seeing customers' budgets shrink.
Comments have been strewn across social media, pointing to a drop in brand sentiment since Zara announced they would start charging for returns. Many also complained about a drop in customer service and how the in-store returns process, which is still free, has resulted in longer queues. Most recently, fast-fashion retailer Boohoo also announced that they’ll start charging for returns, and many customers on social media are weighing up the price of goods versus the cost of returning them and threatening to shop elsewhere.
Charging for returns might seem like a great way for retailers to claw back money. The entire cost of returning comes in at a whopping £7 billion a year and almost half of clothing bought online is returned. Perhaps there’s another way?
CIFAS have just published “Fraudscape 2022” - the flagship intelligence report from the UK’s Fraud Prevention Community.
The reports covers: identity fraud, misuse of facility, facility takeover and insider threat together with an overall picture:
Preparing for the future of payments
A once in a generation change for retail payments is around the corner - are you ready? KPMG have been considering what needs to be front of mind for those connecting to the New Payments Architecture.
This week I have been talking to Paul Simpson over at ACI Worldwide who agreed with KPMG:
Face up to the biggest challenge early on & 5 other strategies, ACI are fully aligned with KMPG’s thinking to help get banks ready for the NPA. ACI are the only vendor in the world with experience of migrating real time payments from ISO 8583 to ISO 20022.
Why not contact Paul Simpson at ACI to find out how they can support you preparing for NPA.
AIB branches to go cashless this year
70 Allied Irish Bank (AIB) branches will no longer offer cash and cheque services at the counter, or through machines inside the bank, from the 30th of September and the 21st of October 2022.
This means they will not have notes, coins, cheques, foreign exchange, bank drafts, and will also remove any drop safes and night safes.
(Stop Press) Or maybe not…..
In a media release circulated today (just a couple of days after the announcement) by Paddy McDonnell, head of media relations for AIB, the bank announced it will retain its 170-strong branch network and will not remove cash services from 70 of its branches - a reversal on its announcement earlier this week.
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of digital banking services and a decline in branch visits and cash usage. In AIB’s case, there are 2.9 million daily digital interactions compared with 35,000 customer branch visits. There has been a 36% decline in cash withdrawals from ATMs and a 50% fall in cheque usage over the past five years. AIB has also seen a fall of almost 50% in branch over-the-counter teller transactions, while mobile and online payments have increased by 85% in that same timeframe.
It was in the context of this evolving banking environment and the opportunity to enhance its long- standing relationship with An Post that AIB took the decision to remove cash services from 70 of its branches.
However, recognising the customer and public unease that this has caused, AIB has decided not to proceed with the proposed changes to its bank services.
And they say that a week is a long time in politics (maybe this is true for banking as well).
Last week (ending 17 July 2022) the volume of ATM transactions:
decreased by 23% when compared to the final week before the first COVID lockdown.
increased by 3% when compared to the previous week in 2022.
increased by 8% when compared to the equivalent week in 2021.
increased by 4% when compared to the equivalent week in 2020.
Is this a bank I see before me? Not any more! Town where Macbeth was set is latest branch cull victim.
A Cashless Future
After a recent study by Link found that cash payments across the UK would make up as little as 10% of all transactions in the next decade, Payments Journal have been considering whether we could be on our way to a digital cashless future.
Paying upfront and in full didn’t suit customers - setting up a subscription model with Access PaySuite increases sales and boosts customer experience.
Metro Bank’s in-branch free coin counting service that allows customers to donate non-sterling coins to charity has raised over £15k for children’s cancer charity Kidscan.
Bank of Ireland warns of new variation on smishing scams - spoiler alert: it uses SMS as a channel? Request to Pay smashes the smishing scam!
UK politicians quiz Visa and Mastercard on card fee increases.
Open banking platform Tink has rolled out settlement accounts, providing merchant customers with a full-stack payments offering that performs automated refunds, payouts, and reconciliation, alongside the Swedish firm's Payment Initiation Services.
Covering Request to Pay, Confirmation of Payee, card payments, Direct Debit, payments and A2A payments Payments:Unpacked is pleased to work with the following partners:
Request to Pay: Join the secure payment revolution with Answer Pay.
Card Payments: Card Industry Professionals supporting Businesses to Accept Payments In-Store, Online or Over The Phone!
Payment Solutions: Seamless, secure & affordable payment solutions that enable organisations of all sizes to accelerate growth & innovation from Access PaySuite.
Payments: ACI Worldwide - New Payments Architecture, ways ACI can help you today, to support your migration to NPA.
If you’d like to join support Payments:Unpacked in helping unpack the UK’s payments landscape contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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