On Unclaimed Property...
Every once in a while, I'll randomly come across an incredible story related to unclaimed property (see recent article here of St. Louis man who claims forgotten $1.6M). It occurred to me that while most people are very familiar with Lost and Founds, few are aware that there are similar resources for finding and reuniting with unclaimed property. Two good sites I've come across are Unclaimed.org and MissingMoney.com. While I would hope that thesavvymoney.com readers would not find themselves on headlines for unclaimed property, you never know what you may have left behind in a past move...
Over the last decade or so, technological innovation coupled with increasing consumer demand for convenience and security, have increased our dependence on electronic payments and moved us closer to becoming a cashless society.
From an industry insider's perspective, it comes down to enabling greater choice for consumers and businesses by providing more ways, more reasons, and more places to pay.
For instance, the advent of new payment players such as PayPal and Obopay have certainly given us more ways to pay and in the process simplified and improved our lives. It's now much easier to use PayPal or Obopay from the web or your mobile phone to pay back a friend for lunch, pay your baby sitter, or even pay your entry fees to Fantasy Football leagues or March Madness pools.
Innovations in payment cards have given us more reason to use card based payments over cash. For instance, debit cards have increasingly become a great budgeting tool, since you can both have full access to all your cash but be constrained from over spending against your means (since you can only spend what is in your account). The myriad of rewards cards have created "rewards junkies" who will find ways to optimize their rewards from using payment cards. And for the security conscious, electronic payments can also provide an added layer of peace of mind from theft and fraud.
And lastly, companies like PayPal and Square have democratized card acceptance for even the smallest merchants online and offline, thus enabling the other half of the electronic payment equation. I think it's easy to envision a not too distant future where you won't need to carry that "just in case" cash in your wallet even for those daily merchants (dry cleaners, coffee carts, etc.) that today only prefer the good ole greenback.
Given these trends, I think anyone who wants to be a "savvy money" consumer should be aware of the constant change on the forefront of payments and I've incorporated below a selection of news sources to keep you at the cutting edge.
Check back often to see how you can benefit from these changes that will literally change the way you think about "what's in your wallet."