Sunday, January 12, 2014

PayAnywhere- the ridiculously high price of convenience

This is just brilliant.

You know how it's such a hassle to write checks, or get cash out of the bank?  Well, here's the answer to that awful, life-ruining headache:  Get this PayAnywhere device, and suddenly your phone is a credit card scanner you can use to pay all debts public and private.

And it's so gosh-darned convenient- just swipe, and your bill has been paid!  Finally, no more fumbling for a pen or opening your wallet for those green papery things!  Our Long National Nightmare is over!

And there's no monthly fee- wow, that's awesome!  Not only does it make it even more convenient, but now I don't have to wonder if it's possible to pay for this "service" with the service itself!

Nope, no monthly fee at all- just a tiny, so-small-you-won't-even-miss-it-really 2.69% charge conveniently added to every use.  Two-point six-nine percent- wow, you couldn't even see that amount of apple pie if you could cut it, could you?  It's so very little, how could you notice it-- right?

Well, hmm, wait a minute here.  If I use this to pay off a $20 personal debt (SO much easier than writing a check, did I point that out?) I'm going to see a bill of 20.54 for this transaction?  And if I use it to "pay the lawn guy" (because like the people in this commercial, I for sure have a "lawn guy"- I mean, who doesn't?) I'm giving the providers of PayEverywhere 2.69 percent of- well, whatever a lawn guy gets, which I bet is a lot more than $20?  Maybe I need to rethink this a bit....

Sure, I can see this being really helpful if you are one of those people who really, really hate to handle that green paper stuff and gosh darn it it sure is a hassle to write out a check, I mean it can take upwards of 20 seconds sometimes (or five minutes, if you are the doddering moron in front of me in the checkout line) and it would be so much easier if I could just tap a few buttons on my phone...but I really want to give this company 2.69 percent of my transaction every time I need to exchange money for I missing something here, or does this sound like a really stupid plan for me and a massive cash cow for the owners of PayEverywhere?

I'm starting to understand why it's "free" and there's no monthly payment- why would this company put any obstacles at all in the way of getting these things into the hands of every single person on the planet as soon as possible?  Now this looks more like the coke dealer who hands out samples- money?  That comes later.  And in great, big, unearned buckets in the form of more than a quarter for every $10 moved.

Just imagine being the company that produces and markets this little device- and then sits back and takes a cut of every. Single. Transaction. stupidly conducted using it.   And all because Convenience trumps the sense that we really ought to have even if we never took Economics 101.

PT Barnum isn't spinning in his grave.  He's clawing his way out, because he's sick of being deprived his share of the fortune being eagerly tossed away by the Dumbest Generation.


  1. I think you misunderstood this commercial a bit. This isn't marketed for the couple in the car... it's for the lawn guy, babysitter, music teacher, etc. It's for small businesses to use, so that the deadbeat customers can't give excuses like, "I don't have any cash" or "I forgot my checkbook" when it comes time to pay their bills. You don't use it to PAY people... you use it to GET paid. Is it a rip-off? Sure, it probably is. But Wimpy's "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" doesn't keep your business alive. So 3 cents per dollar is probably worth it to some businesses.

    If anything, the deadbeat customer should be given a choice: you can pay cash, give me a check, or I'll swipe your credit card and subject YOU with a 3% fee.

    1. yeah, actually I did get that. Any gas station owner can tell you about the convenience of credit cards (and the convenience of sharing some of your hard earned money with a company that had nothing to do with the work.)