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Alone in the Digital Tundra: A Fable of Receipt Usage in the Modern World

printed receipt

The man checking out at the retail store patiently answered the employee that he indeed wanted a receipt. The young man behind the counter seemed confused and stated again that they can just email it to him. Solemnly, the customer explained (with a stare that could freeze water) that he wants a printed receipt, and does not care to manage his spending via email and will not type his long email address into the small point-of-payment device. In the end, the customer is always right and the receipt was printed on the Citizen CT-S310II receipt printer and the customer happily exited the store.

While this may seem wasteful to some and antiquated to others, the need for the printed receipt is often not conveniently sated by digital images of those same transactions. Often times, customers are fearful that the use of email receipts from a retailer are not only a cost savings for the retail operation and a nice thing for our environment but also a cloaked way to fill your inbox with spam email like coupons, seasonal sale offers and other promotional info.

Some even refuse to use email addresses in transactional ways for fear of possible data breaches. Depends on the point-of-view, but as technology provides the e-receipt benefit, some old habits die hard—like a simple receipt being placed in the bag.

The printed receipt remains a valued convenience to many people in many markets, including but not limited to retail, hospitality, healthcare and foodservice. The usage of the printed transaction record (receipt) can be as simple as a personal preference for a physical record, an easier way to manage the checkbook, or often a way many professionals submit proof of expenses for reimbursements to their employer. These not-yet nostalgic and often still-useful reasons are but a few amongst many others in a world where thermal stock still runs through quality printer products like the aforementioned Citizen CT-S model receipt printer. The retailer remains, in some cases, capable of e-receipts, while the flexibility remains for those who still want the hard copy like the rest of us creatures of habit.

So, while the digital tundra is full of 1’s and 0’s flying around us in valuable and innovative ways, some uses of simple, easy-to-manage and efficient technologies like thermal printing will have a home in our lives for many years to come.

And while the Ice Age may have been unpleasant for the woolly mammoth, when cold weather comes, go buy yourself a nice jacket, a pair of gloves and whatever other cold-weather clothing you desire and if it does not fit—fear not—just take them back and get a refund.

Oh … and don’t forget the receipt!

This post is sponsored by CITIZEN Systems

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