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As Australia heads towards being a cashless society, grey issues in how to manage bank cards can arise. For example, can you use another person’s bank card?
Yesterday, we explained that while it’s not illegal to give someone permission to use your card, you are in breach of your card contract with your bank. There’s no risk if you’re the one using someone else’s card.
We also asked our Facebook Messenger audience to tell us how they feel about using someone else’s card.
Some were very black-and-white about it
“This is not at all an issue for me. I’ve been given authority to use the card, so I have no problems using the card. It’s no different to how I give other businesses authority to charge the company’s credit card when we need to make CC purchases. Of course, you can only spend what you’re authorised to spend [otherwise you’re stealing]” — Angus E
“I’ve been asked and declined the offer because I would be held liable if something untoward happens to the card or something is incorrectly charged to the card. It’s not a risk I’m going to take. If they don’t have cash they don’t get a coffee because they don’t pay it back and conveniently forget” — Gaby R
Some felt morally icky about it
“So this has happened to me a few times and not just at work but also with friends. It feels a little weird when they say ‘here use this’ and my immediate thought is hey, that’s not mine, and [I] don’t use it. I have tried to pull a shift on them but they always seem to find out and then pay for the next coffee. It seems pretty common I guess, it’s a question of moral values” — Henry W
“As much as I know I’m always doing the right thing … I’m somewhat ill at ease about using someone else’s cards. I don’t know why but I get the feeling I would not be the first to be suspected of misusing a card. I would buy the coffee, I would never use another person’s card” — Rubens C
Others didn’t give it a second thought
“I frequently do coffee runs for people in my office and everyone just hands over their cards! I thought it was a total normal thing to do. We always go to the same cafe so they are used to it and know us all so maybe that’s why it isn’t weird? But it’s definitely the done thing in my office, pretty much no one carries cash on them these days” — Lauren B
“It’s such a common occurrence to order 10-plus coffees all with different cards so I don’t find it weird or uncomfortable at all!” — Bethany F
Here are some views from behind the register
“I work in retail and I often see PAs using their bosses cards making quite expensive ($100+) purchases on their cards. Because my performance is measured in customer feedback, I often don’t bring it up because if you tell someone they can’t pay with that card, they think your being difficult” — Maximillian O
“I worked in customer service many years ago and I remember having hang-ups about even looking at people’s cards in case they thought I was invading their privacy. I used to feel anxious about [using someone else’s bank card] but now don’t really give it a second thought. No one has ever questioned me using someone else’s card” — Kirsty B
And from someone who’s been handing over their card for years
“I hand my cards over to people all the time, in fact I used to leave a bank card of mine with a coffee shop and once a week they’d ring through my order and SMS me the total charged. This was before the days of Tap & Go as well, so they had my PIN number. And my best friend had another copy of the card to the same account for emergencies, he was out of work at the time” — Gavlahh K
Here’s a worst-case scenario
“There have been a few times it’s happened to others, and it’s even happened to me once, that we get given a card, but the card declined, and because we felt guilty and under pressure, we end up using our own money to pay for it, and because we feel like we trust the person to pay us back, or because we are nice people who want to help out, we just pay it with the faith they will” — Joel L
And here’s how to avoid the situation altogether
“Never had it happen to me — we just beg for mercy and someone else pays or lends cash. Most rank coffee lovers are merciful” — Belinda O