dmdunca44 wrote:2) If There were an extended power outtage, merchants would process credit cards the old fashioned way. They'd use the manual imprinter. I actually had this happen recently.
As long as the cards you use still have the raised lettering, I imagine this would work. But a lot of my new cards are coming with the laser lettering rather than the raised letters, and I can imagine a store not accepting the handwritten transcription of the card in place of an imprint.
a smart merchant would just record the credit card numbers by hand, and phone number, and CSC, and get a signature on a piece of paper,...that would form a legal contract in all cases, which only matters if the customer disputes the charge later. but in most cases you are dealing with low level clerks without the mindset or the authority to do that.
cash is VERY useful in transacting hand to hand business where registers and computer terminals are not working...or don't even exist, like at the side of the road for that really cool lawnmower the guy is offering for $10, --(happened to me today...proud new owner of a Sears mastercraft 60s-era 7-bladed reel mower in STUNNING working condition..)
In an *extended* emergency, like a nuclear war or zombies, eventually cash might not be useful....but for the garden variety, power out for a month in one region and the US still exists, cash is very useful.