(Received 12 August 1974; accepted 4 October 1974)
Published Online: April
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The object of a document examiner's professional attention is typically some sort of paper instrument representing something of value. Of particular importance to most working examiners are the basic noncash elements of our current money payments system: checks and credit cards. Checks and credit cards on the scale they are used today would not be possible without modern computers, but even modern techniques will be inadequate to cope with continued expansion of the current payment system. The development of a money system without checks, credit cards, or even cash has already begun and should be completed by the end of this century. This presentation will review some of the evidence which suggests we are on the brink of a cashless and checkless society. We will look briefly into the history of checks and credit cards, and then review some recent and incipient developments regarding these aspects of our current money system. On a more speculative level, we will inquire about the realistic prospects for a cashless and checkless society, look at the form such a future money system might take, and briefly consider the impact of such developments on the forensic sciences.
Assistant director, Postal Service Crime Laboratory, San Bruno, Calif.
Stock #: JFS10287J