Scene: A pub near London Bridge Background: I visited to meet a former work colleague. Backstory: On arrival they'd already bought their beer, so I went to the bar alone. Caveat: The pub did not have any Becks, so I ordered a different bottled beer. Preparation: I had a ten pound note ready, but not on display. Activity: The barmaid opened the bottle and placed it on the bar. Surprise: Rather than telling me the price, she whipped out a card reader, typed in a number and showed it to me. Shock: The price was £5.15. For a standard bottled beer! Aside: Over Christmas I bought 20 bottles of Becks from the supermarket for £10. This bottle was over 10 times more expensive. Action: I offered my ten pound note. This threw the barmaid slightly, but she recovered and gave me my change. Observation: Along the bar I noticed another punter waving his card against the reader without checking the screen. Key point: This is why why banks want us to use contactless, to train us to pay without necessarily realising how much we're spending. Interlude: Beer was drunk, and conversation was enjoyed. Follow-up: On my return to the bar, I opted for what I hoped was a cheaper brand. This time: The total for this round was £11.10. I offered a ten pound note again, plus a pound coin. But then: While I was scrambling in my wallet for the extra 10p, the barmaid gave me 90p change. Consequence: Ha, I was now a pound up, which almost made up for the expensive beer earlier. Observation: I'd not have been a pound up if I'd paid by contactless, because no mistake would have been made. Conclusion: I know contactless is damned convenient sometimes, but there are reasons why I still like cash.