Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Cash Eater

Moving right along into a very different realm, I'd now like to share one of my more outrageous ideas. I call it the "Cash Eater" because that's exactly what it does: it eats cash.

We are already familiar with those machines that make change. Insert a dollar or in some cases even a five dollar bill, and out spills a bunch of quarters. Like a slot machine, only less exciting. :-)  I use one all the time at the laundromat:

My idea is based on this design. Only instead of spilling out quarters, it simply eats your bills and returns nothing at all. Well, why on Earth, you might ask, would anyone want to feed their money into THAT?????


As we well know, any business that handles cash is vulnerable to being held up by some "desperado," usually with a gun, and such encounters can escalate into violence all too easily. While cash transactions are being rapidly replaced by credit or debit cards, they nevertheless remain a very important factor for many retail businesses. See, for example, the following article from the Federal Reserve of San Francisco: Cash Continues to Play a Key Role in Consumer Spending: Evidence from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice. The title says it all.

As a result of all these cash transactions, many businesses hold considerable amounts of cash on the premises, either in cash registers or safes. And as anyone familiar with cop shows realizes, a safe is NOT a particularly safe place to store your money.

Solution? The Cash Eater.

How does it work? Well, as soon as the cashier retrieves a payment, he inserts all the bills into the Cash Eater, just as though it were a typical change machine, where each bill is checked by an onboard computer to make sure it's genuine. Only instead of spewing out coins, the Cash Eater feeds every item into a shredder. You read that right: each bill gets shredded into tiny pieces!

BUT at the same time, the value of the bill is then recorded as a deposit in the retailer's bank account. No muss no fuss, no accumulation of cash to tempt a thief.

I've been reminded, by certain unimaginative souls, that it's illegal to destroy US money:
According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, . . . anyone who “mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued,” can be fined or imprisoned  . . . (
Well, duh! All that means is that my neat idea will require a complete rehaul of the laws pertaining to the handling of cash in these United States. But since it has the potential to completely eliminate the armed robberies of retail businesses, I'd think it would be well worth the trouble to get some new laws passed.

Thing BIG! That's my motto.

1 comment:

  1. No need to change the law. Banks could have US Treasury-approved printers that receive info from Cash Eaters and reproduce the money that retailers destroy, which is then put into their bank accounts.