My oldest sister is living what I would consider “off the grid.” She does not have a land line, the internet or cable television. She doesn’t even own a car. She does have an iPhone and a MacBookPro however. She has a Netflix account and watches DVDs. She uses her iPhone to connect to Pandora and hooks it up to portable speakers. She checks email on the phone. I guess you could say she’s AT&T’s beeotch which is hardly off the grid, but you get the idea.
It’s been fun to watch her make this transition. She’s saving a ton of money (which was her original driver) and has improved greatly the quality of her life. It’s very vogue in Portland, Oregon to live simply.
Last night I was having dinner with a dear friend and when the bill came he insisted on paying for the wine. How many times has this happened to you? You’re with a group of people, enjoying a wonderful meal and the bill comes and chaos ensues. Math is hard people and then there’s the tip and do they have cash, and who has change for a twenty and let’s just have the waiter split is two ways…..ugh. Instead, he asks if he can just “bump” us the money.
Sounds like fun! What the hell does that mean? It’s an iPhone app that accesses your PayPal account and let’s you easily send money immediately to your dining partner. It even does math for you by calculating tax and tip.
Granted, your PayPal account has to be attached to a checking account which means you’re still on the grid – BUT, this could completely eliminate the need for a debit card and certainly kill off the paper check for good if the technology is widely adopted.
I guess my point is this. Credit unions move people’s money. Period. For the most part we still rely on old school methods for achieving this. Bumping money with your iPhone is like toasting with a glass of champagne. It’s fun, it’s hip, it’s the future. We need to be a part of that future.