For those who game IMTU.
The Imperium is almost a cashless society. I say almost, because cash is available for those who want it. It's use is typically frowned upon. It presumes you have something to hide. It's also unsafe as thieves can rob you of it. Instead, the Imperium uses bank cards. Bank cards are credit card sized (though a bit thicker) pieces of (reasonably) unbreakable plastic. It might shatter if struck with a bullet or melt if struck with a laser. But you can't take a pair of scissors out and cut it. Attempting to break open the card to access the chip inside will automatically destroy the data on the chip. It has a built-in self-destruct mechanism upon exposure to anything but it's surrounding plastic.
The bank cards are issued by licensed banks. There's a chip inside of it that carries all of your banking details as well as biometric data about you. Bank cards are accepted everywhere. You can even use them for person-to-person transactions. All you need is a bank card reader, aka "reader".
Bank Card Readers are issued for free from licensed banks. They are equipped with 2 card reader slots, an alphanumeric keypad, microphone, speaker, and biometric sampling equipment. Attempts to hack the Reader automatically trigger a self-destruct mechanism rendering it useless.
The biometric sampling equipment reads fingerprints (or, if your species doesn't have fingers, some other uniquely identifying physical property), voiceprinting, performs retinal scans, thermal resonance imaging (prevents using dead bodies, severed limbs, or extracted eyeballs), and DNA sampling. If everything matches the biometric data on the card, the transaction is conducted. Forced transactions, or those made under duress, do not go through. All living things undergo physiological changes when under stressful conditions. The scanner picks up on these things.
Clones can sometimes get away with using your card. It depends on where the clone was made. All clones require some form of DNA patching (the process isn't perfect). All legal cloners have identification tags on the DNA patches. These are picked up by the readers. Illegal cloners don't have tagged patches. Since cloning without a license and untagged patches are Imperial felonies, this practice is extremely rare. Identity theft is also an Imperial felony.
When the transaction is successfully completed, a person's bank card is updated with their new balance. It automatically prevents overdraft. Monthly expenses are automatically deducted via stored algorithms. Automatic deposits are similarly noted. Every time a ship pulls into a starport, Readers detect a Banking System Signal broadcast and transmit their data. What data is transmitted? Deposits, withdrawals, and transaction purposes. In return, if there is data available from the bank regarding the person's account, it is downloaded into the Reader where it will update the card the next time it is scanned.
Transaction Purpose is always filled in by legitimate businesses. It is a way of assisting the Imperium and its worlds handle issues of taxation. Computers sort the transactions and notify those parties that are required to know. The Imperium is not in the habit of checking up on its citizens for what business they conduct. Activities that are legal on one world will not be on others. It is possible to lie about what the transaction is about, however, it is possible that the Reader will detect the lie and refuse to conduct the transaction. Local governments do not have access to Readers data. Banks do not have permission either. Therefore it is entirely possible to conduct illegal activities without the authorities knowing. For example, you can still bribe someone. Only the Imperial Government has permission to access Transaction Purpose data and it must obtain a warrant to do so. There must be evidence that the individual suspected of breaking Imperial Law (say trying to buy WMD) may have actually done so.
Credit Cards are available and they work on a similar principle. Interest rates vary. During the Rebellion/2nd Civil War IMTU, interest rates ranged from 15% - 30%.
Some worlds still use their own currency. In these cases, local currency can be purchased using Imperial credits. All of the factions in the Rebellion still recognize the Imperial credit as the official currency of the Imperium and have not made any attempts to displace it.
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