Old school collided with new school during a recent reimbursement conversation with my nephew this weekend on a ski trip. He got a massage and charged it to our room. On our way to dinner, he told me he would Venmo me the money. https://venmo.com/
“Oh Venmo, hmmmmm, isn’t that the payment App for your IPhone you sign up with through Facebook?”
I was very proud that I was up-do-date on my Apps. But then I added…
“I don’t have it on my phone so… Why don’t you simply cancel the charge and give them your credit card and pay it yourself– I don’t even need to see that transaction.”
“That makes no sense Auntie Felice,” he said. “I just Venmo you the money – it’s so much easier.” “Seriously, I would have to go back to the massage place, wait for them to cancel out the transaction and then go through the credit card payment process….Why would I do that?”
What am I missing? I now have a charge on my credit card and must pay it. Meanwhile, I will then receive money through this App – virtually (literally virtually) giving me the funds he sent to me. I pondered this and decided to accept his youthful wisdom but it still didn’t make sense to me.
I have had some technology paralysis because of trust issues recently that have given me pause and caused me to question my adaptability to the changing face of how I transact in today’s world.
Running a business has kept me in the “game” of staying up to date – but many changes, while admittedly much easier in the long run – have forced me to swallow hard to accept.
For instance, I had to really work through the whole Uber thing in terms of giving over too much information to the company. After jumping in an Uber with my son who paid for my ride – I was awed by the ease and comfort of the experience. He downloaded the Uber App for me and then my head started spinning.
I really didn’t want them to have my credit card info on file. I was nervous about jumping in a car with a questionably vetted person who had my cell phone number and would be texting me that they were arriving in one minute to my home. (Case-in-point…Uber driver Jason B. Dalton — who had poor marks on his Uber rating — went on a rampage this past weekend killing six people in MIchigan)
I don’t give all that personal info away after 2 hours of meeting someone at a cocktail party and now I was asking myself – would I do this just to get a cheaper and easier and more comfortable ride? Yup– I have signed on! A giant leap of faith not only made my travel transactions easier but put me in the same ring with my kids and even better, not “left behind.”
As technology oozes into the very fibers of our day to day living – waking up checking our emails – texting- instagraming – facebooking – checking our stocks on-line and paying bills on-line – there is an inherent ask – “can we trust the technology to protect our identities, our hard earned money – and keep us safe?”
This is where I know I’m not alone in my questioning and it’s where many 50-somethings really feel their age and generation gap. Once again it’s all about being an early adopter or embracing change that separates the codgers from the kids.
How comfortable are we in the age of identity theft and robo-investing rocking the stock markets –direct payments through our phones…and giving our credit cards out to some cyber cloud?
Here’s a little quiz that may give you an idea of your ability to adapt to technology:
- Do you have a Venmo App on your phone?
- Do you pay your bills on-line?
- Do you use Pay Pal to pay bills?
- Do you take Uber’s – which would require them to have all your credit card information in order to call for a ride?
- Do you store your photos in the Cloud?
- Does your phone automatically notify you every time your credit card is charged?
- Can you deposit funds into your kids account from your phone?
- Can you deposit a check by taking a picture of it on your phone?
It’s just a fact that if you said “NO” to all of the above – it’s not that you failed the quiz –it’s just that you really are showing signs of being financially a generation apart from your kids.
Perhaps, after reading this you may take your seat as a student and ask your kids to bring you squarely into 2016.