Renee Odetoyinbo was among the millions of Canadians affected by the nationwide Rogers Communications outage on July 8.
Posted at 12:14 pm
Not only did she lose access to internet service, but the 26-year-old content creator faced banking issues when she tried to get groceries. Like many other retailers that day, the store she went to could only accept cash.
“I don’t really walk around with money, but luckily I had some that day,” she said.
Mme Odetoyinbo usually keeps no cash at home except for the $100 bill she received as a gift.
However, since Rogers quit, she plans to keep $100 in cash in her wallet at all times, along with a few hundred dollars at home. And, as some banks have reported problems with their ATM services, Mme Odetoyinbo is also considering keeping some of his money with a traditional bank, with physical branches. Currently, his finances are scattered among digital banks without any fees.
“Those who were caught off guard with no money now realize we need to have a backup plan,” said Lisa Kramer, a finance professor at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga.
While liquidating part of your retirement savings to put under the mattress isn’t recommended, Ms.me Cramer.
“One only has to think of an emergency situation where telecommunications are cut or electricity is no longer transmitted. We have no access to emergency services. What can one manage in this type of situation to support oneself for a few days? »
And, when withdrawing money, it’s best to make sure you have small denominations like $5, $10 and $20, Mr.me Cramer, if there is no change in emergency situations where merchants can only use cash.
Reserve a few weeks
Mark Cleveland, a professor in the Department of Management and Organizational Studies at Western University, expects more Canadians to start holding more cash on hand, at least in the short term, because of the recent national grid outage.
He advises people to have enough money for a few weeks.
“I always try to have $200 in my wallet for anything I need,” Cleveland said. “I try to put it in a safe place at home two or three times. »
“It is very dangerous to give up cash completely. »
Cleveland said he believes public confidence in the digital payments system is eroding, at least temporarily.
“If there’s a power outage or a run on banks and they’re forced to close for a few days, if there’s a cyberattack on a retailer or a financial institution […] Or in a country’s internet system, for example, from a hostile foreign government, the digital economy is severely affected, but cash still works. »
However, with many shops not accepting cash during the pandemic, people will have to get back into the habit of making sure they have notes in their wallets.
There may also be different generational attitudes towards holding cash. Those with a low tolerance for unpredictability tend to be older consumers and therefore more likely to carry cash.
Younger consumers who engage in high-risk activities and trust themselves more to avoid harm are more likely to ditch cash and use Apple Pay and other digital payment methods, Mr. Cleveland. They grew up with technology and are less skeptical about it, so they may not value money as a security backup.
For people looking to diversify the amount of money they keep at home, remember your home insurance, Ms.me Cramer.
“Home insurance often limits the amount of money covered by the policy,” she explains. To decide how much money to keep, it’s a good idea to check this limit. »
Although it is obviously possible to keep an amount higher than what is covered by the insurance policy, it is important to understand that in case of theft, only the amount specified in the policy is covered.