(Photo: Derek Bridges)
Stores give paper receipts in order to prevent employee theft.
Busineess Insider’s Joe Weisenthal tweeted the question. Megan McArdle, a columnist with Bloomberg View tracked down an answer.
The purpose of a cash register is to reduce the ability of dishonest employees to pocket the employer's money. A cash register rings loudly when the drawer opens. The total charge and change pops up on the screen. A cashier can’t simply slip the money under the table. Ms. McArdle explains:
That’s why cash registers ring loudly when the cash drawer opens -- so that a clerk with decent mental arithmetic skills can’t pretend to register your sale and then pocket the cash. And that’s why you get a physical receipt -- so that the clerk can’t ring up part of your sale, and then siphon the rest into his own pocket.
They give you a receipt every time, annoying as it is, because they know you’ll glance at the total and notice if it’s very different from what you just paid. And maybe ask the clerk why, in the hearing of their manager.
-via Glenn Reynolds