[vendtalk] New Money

Loren Wakefield isaiah5719 at mchsi.com
Mon Feb 2 11:44:08 UTC 2009

I do have to wonder if all this is pointless!  Yes, congress may say that 
there will always be currency.  But many trends say otherwise.

Already we do something like 97 percent of our transactions without the use 
of actual money.  We use checks, or debbit or credit cards, or even 
electronic funds transfer.  And as more countries become unified in their 
currency in one form or another, I have to wonder how much longer actual 
money will be around?

One can ad to this the notion of government that it must track all 
transactions for whatever reason, and you can see why they would not want 
actual money out there.  (I am not saying I agree with big brother on this 

The generation coming up that my wife and I have helped to raise, really 
does not use money.  If they cannot use a debbit card, then they do not buy 
there.  Studies have shown this to be true.  Also, even in our own vending 
industry, studies show that where cards can be used, sales go up.

The cost of the switchover will be expensive.  And yes, our currency will 
change with or without this court order.  But along with the many reason 
stated on this list and others, I have to wonder if the cashless society is 
another reason that this court case is just another frivolous use of the 
courts by our custodial friends from across the aisle?

Loren Wakefield

"The best way to predict your Future is to create it." Dr. Forress C. 


319-433-0145 866-433-3969

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vandervoorts" <vandervoorts at sbcglobal.net>
To: "'Vendor Talk Mailing List'" <vendtalk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:32 PM
Subject: [vendtalk] New Money

>I enjoy the intellectual discussion on US currency change and I think it is
> a good subject to discuss in this forum since it affects all blind 
> vendors.
> I have just returned home having spent time at the NFB HQ this weekend.
> While there for other reasons, the subject of currency changes did come 
> up.
> I left with a much clearer understanding, at least in my own mind.  Here 
> are
> some things I found out, knew, or have participated in over the last 7
> months or so -
> 1. Charlie Richardson is right, and others, too, that currency change is 
> not
> the biggest problem facing the blind, and probably not in the top 20, or 
> 50.
> It would have been better if the government had spent the money and time 
> on
> solving any number of other problems that face the blind.
> 2.  No one wants to make expensive changes in their vending business right
> now that would divert resources and capital away from immediate income-
> producing and customer satisfaction needs, especially when currency change
> is not so urgent and the benefit not so necessary for life to continue.
> 3.  As others stated, the US Treasury Department did not try to appeal the
> decision to the Supreme Court, and, so, change will come - someday, 
> somehow.
> Since it was a court-ordered change, there is no option for the government
> other than to do something.  The court probably will make the decision as 
> to
> whether the proposed change satisfies its order.
> 4.  It is better for us to provide inputs (via the NFB or even directly to
> the Bureau of Engraving) into the evaluation and decision making process 
> at
> this point so we do have a voice in whatever happens to us all.  (I do not
> know if they have concluded anything yet.  I have not heard that they have
> proposed any solution or even performed any field trials.  If anyone 
> knows,
> I would love to learn about it.)
> 5.  Beginning at the NFB National Convention, Mary and I, as did some
> others, provided inputs to the Bureau of Engraving via various evaluations
> including with foreign currency, manual dexterity testing, eye testing,
> varied discussions, and surveys.  They had said they wanted to see what
> works, with whom, and why, and to include as many people and eye problems 
> as
> possible. We were evaluated separately (not jointly) with separate
> follow-ups. The effort was spread over a number of months.
> Here is some feedback on what we did and heard:
> a. Almost every foreign currency that has included blind needs has been
> extensively investigated as a potential for use in the US, which has its 
> own
> requirements and needs, particularly with high tech devices of every type.
> We were tested with a variety of different, existing currencies including
> Canadian, Australian, British, the Euro, Swiss, and others.  We were also
> tested with some new, potential solutions.
> b. The legal requirements seem to include the needs of low-vision through
> totally blind populations.  That spans the whole spectrum of those with
> every eye condition and capability and disability, not just for the 
> totally
> blind.
> c. The Bureau is extremely mindful of all of the needs for currency users
> and handling - whether used in retail transactions, commercial business,
> private transactions, entertainment venues & casinos, ATM's and vending
> machines, bill changers, processing by high volume currency handling
> businesses, issues raised by equipment makers, the Bureau's own currency
> printing processes and papers, concerns about all types of storage,
> counting, and on and on.
> d. Rarely, has the Bureau ever faced such a monumental challenge of
> effecting some change with the least amount of intrusion, change, and 
> costs
> to such a wide spectrum of stakeholders and users.  It is a really tough 
> nut
> to address and solve some people's needs without adversely affecting 
> someone
> else's.  They would like to make everyone happy with one solution but 
> doubt
> that will happen.
> e. We were lead to believe, that with whatever change is implemented, it
> will include multiple strategies to insure the broadest ability to be
> recognized by as many people as possible, regardless of the medical
> condition or ability.  So, any bill will contain at least one very large
> denomination number; there will be high contrast features and probably use
> different colors; the bills will have a different look between 
> denominations
> (so if a sighted person, you do not have to be able to read or read 
> English
> to know what it is); there will be the ability for the totally blind to
> recognize the denomination and the bill's orientation, and the bill will
> contain multiple anti-counterfeit measures.
> f. The Bureau has looked into multiple solutions for cheap currency
> detectors and the associated changes needed in currency that would allow
> really cheap devices, as well as the related economics and problems 
> relating
> to counterfeiting the new bills.  Existing currency does not lend itself 
> to
> really cheap detectors that could be given away and still work reliably.
> g. They are highly concerned about the rate of change-over in the currency
> and the cost of it all, regardless of which final solution is approved.
> They are also concerned about the longevity or life of any new currency
> bill.
> h. Congress has stated that their will be currency - that the US will not 
> go
> to an all electronic money environment. So, paper of some sort is here to
> stay for a long time.  And yes, they have done a lot of looking at plastic
> papers used by some other countries, and embedding "chips or tags' in 
> them,
> also.  They have looked at ideas about corner cuts, holes, raised dots
> (Braille coded and non-Braille coded), and so on.  If you have an idea, 
> why
> not forward it on to them?
> i. FYI - American currency has changed in design, size, and color over the
> years, but not since high tech devices have been around.  Currency has 
> been
> phased out, and in, before, even in my own lifetime.  (Some of you are
> obviously older than others - ha!  I am old enough to have witnessed the
> change in the American flag to accommodate two new states and the changes 
> in
> the Pledge of Allegiance.)
> In conclusion, there will be some change, one day or another.
> And yes, I bet there will be some who will welcome and embrace the change,
> some will curse it, some will not care one way or the other, but the
> currency will change, nonetheless.  I just hope we, as vendors, can afford
> it. With any change, I hope there is some positive way we can exploit the
> change to improve our businesses.  In any event, I do hope whatever change
> there is, that all those who are low vision or visually impaired and the
> blind, will all find their lives changed for the better, at least in some
> small way.
> Mike Vandervoort
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