Dexit is a rechargeable, contactless, stored-value smart key tag used for electronic payment in on-line or off-line systems in Toronto, Canada, since 2003. Instead of coins or cards (and PIN), Dexit uses an RFID key tag device associated with funds transferred from ordinary bank accounts. There is no link to access the accounts from the key tag, a feature to guard against the abuse of lost key tags. Accounts can be filled up from the Dexit website, by telephone, at participating merchants, or through pre-approved bank account or credit card balance transfers. A partnership between small retailers, Dexit Inc.
TD Canada Trust, National Bank of Canada, Telus Mobility, Bell Canada in Toronto’s downtown, and a few retailers in and around Toronto. There were plans to expand to the rest of Toronto in 2005; however, this does not appear to have occurred. In the summer of 2006, Dexit announced a restructuring, and nearly all payment terminals have been removed from stores. Dexit is also offering refunds of all funds that have been stored on Dexit Tags. Frugality has made a comeback. Beaten down by the recent Great Recession, Americans are showing an enthusiasm for thriftiness not seen in decades.
This ehavioral shift isn’t simply about spending less. The new frugality em- phasizes stretching every dollar. It means by- passing the fashion mall for the discount chain store, buying secondhand clothes and furni- ture, packing a lunch instead of eating out, or trading down to store brands. Consumers are clipping more coupons and swiping their credit cards less. Says one analyst: A shift in behavior has taken place. Consumers across all income segments have responded to the economy by reining in spending, postpon- ing big purchases, and trading down when possible. Above all else, theyre seeking out the best value for their money.
Marketers must take a different tack to reach these increasingly pragmatic consumers: Forego the flash and prove your products’ worth. Not that long ago, yoga teacher Gisele Sanders shopped at the Nordstrom in Port- land, Oregon, and didn’t think twice about dropping $30 for a bottle of Chianti to go with dinner. That was before the recession, when her husband, a real estate agent, began to feel the brunt of slowing home sales. Now, even with the improved economy, Sanders picks up grocery-store wine at $10 or less per bottle, shops for used clothes, and takes her mother’s advice about turning down he thermostat during winter. It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “We were so off the charts before. ” Such frugality is likely to be more than a fad. “It is a whole reassessment of values,” says a retailing consultant. “We had Just been shopping until we drop, and consuming and buying it all, and replenishing before things wear out. People [have learned] again to say, ‘No, not today. ” Even people who can afford to indulge themselves are doing so more spar- ingly and then bargain hunting to offset the big purchases.
When the recession hit, the housing bust, credit crunch, and tock-market plunge ate away at tne retirement savlngs ana connaence 0T consumers who for years operated on a buy-now, pay-later philosophy, chasing bigger homes, bigger cars, and better brands. The new economic realities have forced families to bring their spending in line with their incomes and rethink priorities. Notes a market analyst, “The recession has tempered rampant and ex- cessive consumption, which has given way to more mindful choices. ” Keeping up with the Joneses and conspicuous consumption have taken a backseat to practical consumption and stretching buying dollars.