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Do we depend on computers far too much?

This weekend's revelation that a number of major stores in the UK saw their electronic payment systems down for anywhere up to 3/4 of an hour is a major blow for those who have been pushing the electronic payment model of the future. It also shows that many of us in the UK depend wholly upon credit cards and debit cards to cover our everyday costs and if the systems are in any way compromised we are very often left high and dry.

While there is no doubt that computerised systems do reduce the cost to both consumers and retailers in the UK there is the potential for computer glitches such as those we saw this weekend. When you also take into account the various data privacy issues which have arisen over the last couple years, which saw potentially hundreds of thousands of private records lost or stolen, perhaps we do need to find a balance between more traditional systems and electronic payment and storage facilities?

As more and more people look to do their banking online we have also seen a significant increase in the number of online scams and online fraud, which costs the UK consumer and business arena hundreds of millions of pounds a year. How can we rein in this dependence upon computerised systems?

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