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Checks and Cash Slowly But Surely Disappearing

US Government To Announce Major Benefit Payment Changes

1 min read
Checks and Cash Slowly But Surely Disappearing

The Washington Post is reporting that the US Department of the Treasury will be announcing later today that most federal benefits payments from Social Security to Veteran disability checks will be made by electronic direct deposit beginning 1 March 2013. Businesses using Federal Tax Deposit Coupons will also need to go the electronic tax payment route.

The Treasury says that the move will save $400 million in processing, postage and paper over five years.

The Post story also says, "Americans who enroll on or after March 1, 2011, for benefits payments will receive them by direct deposit or be enrolled in the government's Direct Express Debit MasterCard program if they do not provide bank account information."

In related news, the London Telegraphreported last week that the UK Payment Council expects that cash will be used for less than half of all consumer transactions in the UK by 2015. According to the Payment Council, in 2009, 59% of the 37 billion transactions used cash. In 1999, the number was 73%. The Council also said that in 1999, 6% of all personal transactions involved the use of cheques, while in 2009 it was only 2%.

By 2018, cash is expected to be used in the UK in only 45% of all transactions. On 31 October 2018, paper cheques are to be totally phased out in the UK.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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