Why consumers still love cash - April 28, 2017
This article was published more than 3 years ago and the content may be outdated.

Why consumers still love cash

Friday, April 28, 2017

View Showroom

Company: ATM Industry Association

By atmAtom on ATMmarketplace.com

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?

Additional Resources from ATM Industry Association

ATM Industry Association White Papers
ATM Industry Association Press Releases / Blog Posts

Global Sponsor - Auriga
Global Sponsor - FIS
Global Sponsor - DPL
Global Sponsor - PAI
Global Sponsor - Diebold Nixdorf
Global Sponsor - KAL
Global Sponsor - Prosegur
Global Sponsor - Euronet Worldwide
Become a Global Sponsor
In This Section
Coronavirus Member Blogs
Special Offer Image ATM Security Association Image

Global Sponsors