Submitted by YoThatsFed t3_10l7e0m in Showerthoughts

Generally I like to give money to homeless people when I can, however, I always leave the house with only my phone and keys because it doesn’t really seem like there is a need to carry a wallet anymore. I feel like this is the case for a lot of people, no one plans to bring cash for homeless people but in the situation they’d give them it. Yet with Apple Pay and contactless it’s becoming rarer and rarer.



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burgerpizzatacocafe t1_j5v1kmf wrote

Many homeless people take contactless payment, these days. Some even put it on their signs.

Anyone with a smartphone can do it. Few people don't have smartphones, anymore. Most people don't even carry cash.

You can literally get a Square dongle for free, to swipe cards.

Homeless people jumped on Cash App faster than dealers.


BreakfastBeerz t1_j5v47m8 wrote

And for those wondering, the government does provide phones to homeless people who apply. It's a program that started with Reagan with home phone service, under Obama it applied to cell phones and has seen need applied to smartphones


Supercompositeman13 t1_j5xad3j wrote

I believe Hillary Clinton made that a campaign promise, but for obvious reasons that never happened


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v1tgm wrote

You can get a card reader for free?


BreakfastBeerz t1_j5v3w6f wrote

Yes, but it comes with fees. 2.6% + $.10

So if someone gives you $10, you get $9.64


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v9jv7 wrote

Edit: everything I said was dumb ignore this lol.


Aewgliriel t1_j5va2gc wrote

That’s for everyone, though, not just the homeless. I use Square as one of my payment methods when I run booths at fairs and markets.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5vaeyl wrote

I assumed there was ones that aren’t free that didn’t charge you a fee, that’s what my statement was based on.


burgerpizzatacocafe t1_j5vafwq wrote

That just means it's horrendous across the board.

Usury is a sin in most religions.


Aewgliriel t1_j5varp7 wrote

Agreed. A flat fee for using their service, I can see, ‘cause they’re in it to make money, not be a charity, but the fee plus taking a cut of the sale? Unfortunately, they ALL do it. And half of them are just PayPal in disguise.


werter318 t1_j5xwfrx wrote

If I have some spare cash I will always give it to them but never ever in my life will I pay a homeless person by card.


DigitalSteven1 t1_j5v51ku wrote

I can't give money to those people, since in almost every case, it's just a scam. If you want to help homeless people, support local policies that support the homeless, volunteer at a soup kitchen, become a speaker for homelessness issues in your town. Giving them $20 doesn't help them.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v9of1 wrote

Maybe in America. I can tell you the homeless people I walk past every day and recognise, the ones I see sleeping out in the cold late at night, they’re not scammers.


BojangleHeimerShmidt t1_j5wqo0y wrote

Not even in America, the commenter is just ignorant.

Source: I’ve talked with many, many homeless people in the US through NA and happenstance


mooreolith t1_j5waahh wrote

You may not turn their life around with your $20 gift, but you might buy them a sandwhich, and some reason to stay in a heated place for a while. That's definitely helping. Helping does not equal fix everything forever.


fenton7 t1_j5xbe6t wrote

The point is that if you give the $20 to a homeless charity they are going to use it to provide 20 or even 40 meals in places where real homeless congregate. Giving money to panhandlers is vastly less efficient not just because many are scammers but also because you aren't reaching most of the homeless population or an organization that can leverage economies of scale to buy efficiently. The people who hang out at busy intersections with signs, particularly in suburbs where they know many easy marks exist, are not representative of the real population or problem.


mooreolith t1_j5xg3dq wrote

That's a fair point. All I'm saying is it doesn't not make that one homeless person's day. Maybe you see the same people every day after a while.


Sentsuizan t1_j5y5pid wrote

Give money to people if you feel like being generous, regardless of what you think they may or may not do with it.


bowltectonix t1_j5v88v6 wrote

But it's great for governments taking their cut from the productive class!


BackRowRumour t1_j5vg5mv wrote

Cold snap before christmas I gave the dude my scarf, as no cash, and he had no scarf. It was a good scarf.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5viubf wrote

That’s very good of you.


BackRowRumour t1_j5vmkhi wrote

I confess I was in two minds about it, because I got the scarf as a gift, but it was absolutely biting cold, and I was off to a warm home. Had a quick chat, he seemed in good spirits though. So I think there's a good chance he's ok.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5w2umn wrote

Most people would be in one mind about it, “no that’s my scarf I want to keep it”, so being in two minds about isn’t a bad thing at all.


A1_Fares t1_j5v2how wrote

Another issue would be low income and “unlawfully” employed individuals who take cash as payment. I’m not talking about dealers, but perhaps immigrants and those getting paid in cash for their labor.

Access to digital currency is also a trick. If you live in a large metropolitan city, you have access to internet, banks, ATMs; but if you live out of town or in the country, or maybe just don’t have reliable transportation and internet, you are also screwed.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v9czo wrote

Yeah, I do think people are much more willing to go and get cash out of an ATM though to pay in a cash only store or pay a dealer, so it definitely affects them less than homeless people but I agree with you.


FastConfidence4077 t1_j5x38ku wrote

Society as a whole doesn’t care about transients on any level. This might get downvoted and you will certainly see a lot of pro-homeless virtue signaling in your post here, but if you truly want to accurately understand how the average Joe feels about homeless folks, read the nextdoor app, like pick any random neighborhood in the US and just read for about 10 minutes.

So basically what I’m saying is outside of really visible social media where there’s things like likes, retweets, upvotes etc… nobody cares about them and thus nobody gives a shit if they get fucked by the transition to digital currency


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y49yr wrote

I think your comment is definitely skewed to a US perspective though, I’ve definitely seen Americans mention like “it’s a nice area but there’s a lot of homeless people” and similar things, which would be a weird thing to say in the UK. However I still agree that even in the Uk there isn’t a lot of care/respect for them sometimes and a lot of people lack empathy for their situation.


risingstanding t1_j5vcai7 wrote

Not really. Now the homeless people in my area are playing on a smartphone while they sit there asking for money


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5vfouz wrote

Ah yes I’m sure all homeless people live a great life with increasingly limited access to money.


Pretend_Stranger_126 t1_j5vygp3 wrote

Also bad for for power/internet outages, one fast food restaurant I used to work at had problems with their debit/credit payments almost twice a month due to connection problems


fede142857 t1_j5xe5bo wrote

It's terrible for anyone who values their privacy and doesn't want the government to know about their entire spending habits right down to the cent

Also for anyone who lives in any area that doesn't have a decent enough internet service


-temporary_username- t1_j5xwr95 wrote

I visited London in 2019 and it was pretty common there to see beggars/street preformers with card readers. Looked pretty bizarre to me but I'm happy it helps them survive.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y4fc4 wrote

Street performers aren’t homeless, they just do that as a job. Homeless people with a card reader isn’t something I’ve seen before but I know it does happen.


-temporary_username- t1_j5ybfi4 wrote

I saw plenty of people with it on the streets there. Some were street preformers but some were just begging.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5yd1wa wrote

Yeah like I said, I’m aware it happens, I just haven’t seen it myself yet.


bloooger3232 t1_j632war wrote

This is by design. When we are finally cashless, it will be the easiest thing for them to snap their fingers and decide we can’t access our “money”. Or you can’t fly on this plane because of your credit score. Or you can’t buy x because you posted x on your social media (that they very much gather data on) and this company doesn’t like that. It’s a harrowing thought


Showerthoughts_Mod t1_j5v14g4 wrote

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Neowynd101262 t1_j5v547n wrote

Maybe bad for tip based wages too. Do tips from cards get taxed?


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v9tns wrote

Probably yeah, didn’t think of that so much either. More or less of an issue depending on which country you’re in as tips vary massively in how much they contribute to your wages.


AdMore3461 t1_j5vdvu2 wrote

Yes, it’s taxed. Technically even cash tips are supposed to be reported and taxed, but realistically most cash tips get pocketed and not reported. Tips on cards tend to be reported to the tax services by the employer, so they have to be claimed and taxed.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5vfsco wrote

I don’t think tips should be taxed really, it’s like a gift for doing good, don’t get taxed on gifts generally.


AdMore3461 t1_j5vgvrm wrote

Yeah, I’m not mad at anyone underreporting tips on taxes either. I think the US tip/pay system is junk and needs to be scrapped anyways.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5vizpa wrote

The US tipping/waiter pay system is terrible, it should be illegal to have the majority of wages be tips.

Even in Europe I think tips shouldn’t be taxed though.


Sentsuizan t1_j5y5uqg wrote

But you do have to pay taxes for gifts over a certain threshold. In a practical sense it only ever applies to things like cars and very expensive items.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y9gja wrote

That’s why I said “generally”, there are exceptions of course.


Sentsuizan t1_j5y9op7 wrote

Well yeah, and one of those exceptions is hundreds of dollars worth of tips that you get as part of your income.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5ya1yz wrote

You’re once again talking about the US, tips in the UK aren’t “hundreds of dollars” forming a large part of your income.


trymypi t1_j5wo0ym wrote

Nobody has even mentioned how digital currency makes it easier for "un-banked" people to store and use money. Checking and Savings accounts can be near impossible for some people to obtain, but digital currencies can make it easier to pay for things that usual require a bank account.


Subject_Attempt3571 t1_j5xchbr wrote

I know many "homeless" "freeliving" people and they all have cashapp,venmo,chime,and usually PayPal. Sometimes multiple accounts of each. I've sold flowers for donations and had my info on a sign before. I made Hella money doing that.


Squid8742 t1_j5wu6dt wrote

There are 3rd world countries that have gone digital. And the unhoused there have cell phones (cheap phones work just the same). It works fine.


tximinoman t1_j5y21r5 wrote

This is shower thought it's true but I think everyone should carry some cash on themselves at all times. Even if you never use cash. Mostly it's important to have cash on you because your phone may break. Carrying some money on yourself isn't hard, doesn't weight, and in the unlikely chance that you run into a problem, it can help you out.


Vic_Hedges t1_j5y7n0t wrote

Donate that money to charities for the homeless. It’s better spent.


CWB2208 t1_j5x3all wrote

It's better for them. People don't always carry physical cash.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y4bn0 wrote

People don’t carry cash, 99% of homeless people only accept cash. Therefore it’s bad for them.


CWB2208 t1_j5ykzdm wrote

Times are changing, my friend. I work in a city with a very large homeless population (Google Campbell River, B.C. + homeless, if you wish). They were all given cell phones by the city. This may not be true where you live, but it's 2023, homeless people will soon have means of accepting and using digital currencies if they can't already.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5yqgqi wrote

I hope they will soon have means of utilising digital currencies but majority of them where I live currently don’t so at the moment it is bad for them. It will be potentially beneficial to them when they’re able to utilise it more but where I live it’s currently not the case. I hope it becomes the case of course.


Sentsuizan t1_j5y5y16 wrote

My friend, you are far out of date. Many homeless people will take digital currency, because it's harder to get robbed when your money is on the cloud.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y9f1z wrote

As I’ve said in other threads, I live in the part of the UK with the most homeless people and I have never once seen any of them with a card reader. I’m aware it happens, more commonly in the centre of the city, but at least 99% of them only take cash.


Sentsuizan t1_j5y9mfw wrote

You don't need a card reader since you can just transfer with Cash app Granted, I don't know about the UK's homeless situation but in the US this has definitely been common since I was homeless about 8 years ago


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5y9zw7 wrote

Card readers or a smart phone then I should add. Definitely more common that they will have a phone/smartphone but then there is the issue of actually having access to a bank account and card without an address to link it to, plus then keeping the phone charged to spend it. I’ve personally never met a homeless person who’s accepted anything besides cash.


Sentsuizan t1_j5yaqli wrote

The whole benefit of Cash app and similar apps is that they do not require a bank account or an address. Whenever we needed a charge we would either head to the library or one of the public outlets at the park, if not in a shelter somewhere.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5yd5g4 wrote

Sorry then maybe I’m confused, how do you spend money from Cash App if you don’t have a card or account? Sure you have the money sat in Cash App but how can you then actually use it?

Cash App isn’t really used at all in the UK so I’m not massively familiar with it.


Sentsuizan t1_j5yeizp wrote

You get a virtual card number, and they also send you a physical card if you request it nowadays. Typically a shelter will take mail for the homeless, or the post office can hold it for you. NFC payments are in just about every cheap phone now so even that isn't needed anymore.

If you wanted cash you would find someone who had cash on hand and/or a bank account of their own, and simply trade some of the balance for their cash minus a small cut off the top for the trouble. Could also buy something and then sell that for cash. I used to do that with cigarettes. Buy a pack for six bucks sell all 20 for a dollar each since I don't smoke anyway.


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5yi8zn wrote

Are you saying you can do contactless payments from a Cash App balance on your phone?


Sentsuizan t1_j5yirzw wrote

That's exactly right


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5yq5wy wrote

Wow that’s actually very useful, I didn’t know that. I’m not sure if shops in the UK accept Cash App Pay as I’ve never seen it and can’t find anything about it online, but definitely very useful to the homeless population in the USA and hopefully something that gets adopted more here.


Sentsuizan t1_j5yymhi wrote

Well, I'm pretty sure cash app recently expanded to the UK and besides it's not the only online payment out there if they take an American Visa card then they will likely take cash app


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5z1dgn wrote

We primarily use PayPal but I’m not aware of a way to use that to pay in stores either.

Stores tend to accept any major debit/credit cards, and Apple and Google pay.


Sentsuizan t1_j5z2x3u wrote

Here you can simply add your PayPal account to your Google Pay or Apple pay wallet and it just works. It's what I use pretty much every time I'd tap to pay these days


YoThatsFed OP t1_j5z6ngt wrote

That’s super cool, Googling about that shows only results for PayPal and Google Pay in the US making me think it’s another USA only thing. Just goes to shows there is ways that it can be used to help homeless people they’re just not widespread enough yet I suppose.


[deleted] t1_j5v1cmw wrote



YoThatsFed OP t1_j5v1rui wrote

Who is we?

This reads like a copy and pasted PR statement from a bank’s website.