Why consumers still love cash
Studies consistently show the hype about the decline of cash to be inaccurate and wildly overstated.
Despite continuing growth in alternative payment options, consumers still rely on cash as their primary form of payment for gifts, food, personal care, automotive, entertainment and transportation services.
But, with so many "more convenient" options available, why do people continue to rely on hard currency?
As demonstrated by continued security breaches at popular retail establishments, the more technology becomes involved in payments, the more opportunities criminals have to access crucial personal information. As a payment option, cash presents a level of security not found with credit, debit or digital payments.
The use of cards or digital payments has been proven to disassociate individuals from the amount of money they are actually spending. An additional dollar or two here, a few more cents there … it adds up over time and can eventually break the bank.
Experts suggest that consumers use cash for everyday expenses in order to develop a better connection between expenses and budget limits.
Cash provides a visual cue for consumers, helping them to remain more aware of how much they have spent and exactly how much they have left. When the cash is gone, the spending stops.
As consumers have begun to discover, online shopping and electronic payments contribute to "big data." The result of this is more advertising directed to the individual based on past purchases.
While it's not possible to pay online with cash, using it instead of other forms of payment for transactions at brick-and-mortar merchants means that consumers can keep more of their spending information to themselves.
Debit, credit and digital payments have a major drawback — they're not all accepted at all locations. Retailers generally use signage to to let customers know which card brands they accept. But with digital payments and EMV, non- options have become even more confusing.
Compliance dates for EMV at the point of sale have passed but many retailers have either opted to wait to implement the technology or are still awaiting certification.
As a result, consumers must pay more attention at checkout to determine whether they should swipe or insert a payment card.
Cardless payments are slowly making their way into the payment mix, but merchants don't all necessarily accept the same types of cardless payments and the customer might not know until at the POS what mix of Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Chase Pay (etc., etc., etc.) the merchant accepts. In addition to different platforms, providers are also working with a varied mix of payment technologies, including NFC, RFID and QR codes.
On the other hand, a consumer would be hard-pressed to find a brick-and-mortar retailer who doesn't accept cash. Moreover, cash does not require any special technologies or payment steps.
While payment options have become plentiful, payment platforms can fail to provide the security, budget control, anonymity and convenience that consumers can depend on when they choose cash.
With so many positives going for it, is it any wonder that cash continues to find favor?
atm Atom Posts for the atmAToM blog are contributed by a collective of writers from Triton Systems and ATMGurus seasoned ATM pros who thought they might like to share a few things they've learned during the last 30 years in the ATM industry. www