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PLASTIC MONEY - CREDIT CARDS, LLOYDS




PLASTIC MONEY: CREDIT CARDS, LLOYDS

Plastic Money is a very global expression. It is a way of exchanging money in a non-cash-way. That means instead of giving cash to the shop keeper you pay with a card that deducts the amount you have to give. Another way of plastic money is for examlpe the telephone card, where a certain amount is saved on the card. After your call the price of the telephone call is going to be deducted from the card, and it will have less value than before.

Cards, where no amount is saved, and no amount is going to be deducted from an account, are called Club Cards. With such a club card you count for a memeber of a certain club or organisation and can get perhaps a definetaly reduction or just the possiblility to enter a definetaly area (e.g. backstage cards).

Credit Cards

Thirty years ago, credit cards were rare. Tody, billions of them (not to mention phone cards, club cards, cash cards and others) are used every day. All over the world millions of people are using credit cards to buy all kinds of merchandise, to rent auotmobiles, to make telephone calls, to settle hotel bills, to have their cars serviced.

The idea behind credit cards is simple. When you buy something you give your card to the shop assistent. He or she fills in a form, and you sign it. Then, at the end of the month you receive a bill from the credit company. This lists everything you've bought on credit in the past four weeks.

Continous credit up to an agreed limit is available to the holder.

But for some people this can become a real problem. They spend too much, can't afford to pay it back, and get into debt. For some people, though, credit cards are "flexible" friends - 



a useful and convenient alternative to cash.

Different Credit Cards

There are a lot of different cards available. Currently, most people of the world are attended and using VISA card.

The card itself

A credit card enables its holder to obtain credit at all establishment that have joined the scheme. The cards are usually made of plastic or stiff cardboard. Each card has a number (code) which is recorded on the invoice. The customer pays no extra but the shopkeeper (the hotel, the garage or restaurant) pays a charge of perhaps 2% to 4%.

Cheque Cards

What can a cheque card do for its holder?

A cheque card quarantees that any cheque up to a certain amount will be honoured by the bank on which it is drawn. The shopkeeper (the hotel, the restaurant, the filling station) can be sure that the cheque will not bounce.

How do we use a cheque card?

The holder will present it when he is ready to pay. When he knows the amount of his invoice he will write out and sign the cheque in the presence of the person he is handing it to.

How does the person getting the cheque know that it will be paid?

He will compare the signature on the cheque with the specimen on the cheque card and compare the account number on the cheque with the account number on card. Moreover, he should make sure that the cheque card has not expired and write the serial number of the cheque card on the back of the cheque. In this way he can make sure that the cheque will be paid by the bank.

How can one draw cash with a cheque card?

The holder can draw cash by presenting his cheque card and drawing the cheque in the presence of the cashier. He may cash for each cheque up to a certain amount. In Austria the amount is 2500,- at the present.

Can one get cash abroad?

If the cheque card displays the "Eurocheque" symbol, the holder can cash cheques at any bank in Europe displaying the same symbol. In this case he makes out the cheque to the usual amount in his country's currency according to the current rate of exchange after presenting his passport.

cheque guarantee cards

These are called cheque cards for short and they're a form of identification. When you give someone a cheque, you shown them the card, too. This proves you're the person whose name is on the cheque. It also means that your bank guarantees to pay the cheque (up to a certain amount). Banks advise their customers to keep cheque books and cheque cards separately, because if a card is stolen, it can't be used without the cheque book and vice versa.

Telephone cards

Lots of public phone boxes don't accept cash these days- they only take cards. When you buy a phone card you get a fixed amount of telephone time (which is measured in units). After that it's simple. All you do is use the card until you've run out of units. And then you buy another one.

The advantage of phone cards is that you dont't need cash to make a call.

Cash Dispenser Cards

These are called cash cards for short. Nowadays, some of them are cheque guarantee cards, too. That means you only need one piece of plastic to (a) get money from a cash dispenser, (b) prove your identity when you sign cheques. The information printed on cash cards includes:

¨ the identification number of the card itself

¨ the dates between which the card can be used

¨ the name of the card owner.

¨ the code number of the card-owner's bank

¨ the card-owner's bank account number

Future finance

fantastic plastic




Already some credit cards include tiny computers. These smart cards' make and record each payment electronically. But scientists are also developing even smarter cards with mini calculators and keyboards, for the possiblity to ask the card finance questions.

Euro money

In the near future there could be just one currency for the whole European Union. This will be the biggest development ever in Europe's financial and business history.


Tele shopping

Computers are going to play a major role in twenty-first century shopping. As a matter of fact, with computerized 'tele shopping' you'll soon be able to buy goods without even leaving home.

Vocabulary

account

Konto

afford

sich leisten

bounce

platzen (ungedeckter Scheck)

currency

Währung / Umlauf

debt

Schuld

deduct

abziehen

form

Formular

merchandises

Waren

scheme

Programm

stiff cardboard

steife Pappe











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