You’re at the checkout in a retail outlet and you’re about to purchase a new jacket. What is your first inclination – to open your wallet or purse and pull out the requisite cash, or to reach for your debit/credit card? If you go for your card, does the cashier run it through a narrow slot in a credit card terminal or momentarily hold it up to a scanner before a signal indicates that the transaction is made?
Irish online till roll provider Paper2Paper has created this infographic which highlights the decline of cash and the simultaneous rise of other forms of payment. This year, it is expected that non-cash payments worldwide will surpass those made with traditional coins and bank notes. By 2024, adults in the UK are projected to use cash just twice in an average three-day period, while Europe now has more than 2.6 million contactless Visa terminals. All of these facts indicate that non-cash payment methods are the in-vogue choice among consumers globally.
There is a healthy variety of non-cash payment options available to consumers today, such as contactless payments, debit/credit cards, standing orders and checks, which is the exception to the non-cash rule in that it is very much a dying form of payment. All of these payment methods possess their own advantages, but they all have some drawbacks, too. Depending on the type of transaction you wish to carry out, some will suit better than others. For example, standing orders are ideal for making large payments, unlike debit cards, but debit cards allow for greater flexibility and security.
So is cash on its last legs? Not quite – there are still many situations in which it is the preferred payment option. You’re hardly going to pay for a rudimentary can of Coke with a credit card, are you? Also, if you remain faithful to using cash, you’re more likely to restrain yourself to operating within a budget, which is far less likely if you consistently flaunt your cards. Cash has an uncertain future, but at least it has a future.