In praise of a paper receipt

Surrey library receipt

It is so well contained – shows all the information that is important, and none that isn’t.

There’s a short header with logo, timestamp and my member id.

Then, right up front in the first box, it shows the book that I just borrowed, when it’s due for return, and any associated fees.

In the next box it lists the books I already have out on loan, with due dates for each1.

In the final box it shows any fees that I have outstanding. In this case it is £1.50 for two books that I had reserved (75p each).

Then there’s a concise footer reminding members that books may also be renewed/reserved online2 (how I do it), and over telephone (for digitally disinclined).

That’s all. Simple and sufficient.

Continue reading In praise of a paper receipt


Today I opened a savings account with Marcus – an online consumer bank by Goldman Sachs.

It took me about 5 mins to open the account. In another 5 minutes I transferred some funds into it. That’s it, done.

That’s less than the time it would take me to travel to a bank branch, or to queue for attention in the said bank branch, or to fill any forms in the said bank branch, or …  – you get the idea.

- Marcus gives a 1.5% interest (about 10x of what Barclays gives me currently, and 2x of other interest-paying challenger banks).
- It has a simple one screen interface. All I can do is see my balance, and request withdrawal (it takes a day).
- I can only transfer money to and from my linked bank account, so there’s little leeway for fraud.

It’s perfect, as a simple savings account. I’m lovin’ it.