About Atmia
About Atmia

The Cultural Importance of Cash

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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by ATM Industry Association

By now, you know cash leads the way when it comes to the way people pay. But did you know cash is a major contributor to social cohesion and cultural unity? Read on to see how cash has the power to bring us together as a society.

Cash as a social network

Cash serves as a universal connector between people of all backgrounds and ages. It doesn’t discriminate or care whether you’re old or young, rich or poor. Because of this intrinsic ability to bring people together, cash organically fuels collaboration and communication around the world with pretty much the entire world’s population using coins or banknotes during  their lifetime.

Cash symbolizes national sovereignty

Most people use coins and cash everyday here in America and  across our borders. Not only does cash represent the country or region it is from, but it represents a national and regional sovereignty. Cash promotes its country or region; it represents its values, its history, its culture. It’s because of this that so much thought goes into banknote and coin  design.

During times of political turmoil, cash repeatedly comes to the rescue as digital  payment systems can become extremely unreliable. Cash comes through to reliably serve citizens  when other means fail.

Cash is inclusive of the unbanked

Half the adults in the world -- approximately 2.5 billion people--do not partake in any formal financial services. Most of these people are in developing economies, however, even in first world  regions, sometimes almost 20 percent of people are unbanked. Lack of funds typically tops the list of reasons why people do not have bank accounts.

​Banks must meet a slew of regulations and guidelines, which often prevent poor people from opening accounts. In rural areas, the distance to simply reach a banking location may present a barrier. While banks are making inroads to become more financially inclusive, cash remains the number one payment method people of all backgrounds can utilize.

In cultures all around the globe, cash is a powerful force powering the way people pay. It’s the easiest, most convenient and most reliable payment method around. Plus, there aren’t many places in the world that won’t accept your cold hard cash as a way to do business.


Withdraw Cash Wednesday (WCW) is an initiative to promote cash withdrawals from ATMs on heavy shopping days like the Wednesday prior to black Friday shopping. WCW’s mission is to promote ATM usage around the busiest spend times of the year and help the ATM industry gain more visibility. Our group is focused not only on gaining more usage and attention for the ATM industry but to help retailers and consumers alleviate ​some of the problems faced during the busy holiday season.​

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