People have been predicting the demise of cash for years. Like mostly everything else that comes in paper form (our news, bills, books, etc.), advances in technology – the advent of the mobile wallet, in particular -would surely mean the end of greenbacks, too.
But despite a long line of formidable foes, cash is still king. Here’s why:
1. Cash still rules small transactions.
It is true that most Americans aren’t carrying a lot of cash in their wallets these days – $50 or less, according to recent report by Bankrate. But cash is still the go-to form of payment in 40% of consumer transactions, according to an April report by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. After asking 2,500 Americans to log three days’ worth of purchases, researchers found consumers relied on cash for two-thirds of transactions under $10 and nearly half of transactions under $25.
2. Credit cards are still expensive for small businesses.
Credit card companies charge up to 3% in fees every time a business lets a customer charge a purchase. Retailers that mostly deal in large transactions may be willing to eat those costs, but chances are we’ll be seeing “Cash Only” signs on corner stores and mom and pop shops for some time to come. In fact, a 2012 report by Intuit shows that more than half of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. don’t take plastic at all.
3. Credit is hard to get when you’re young.
With little to no credit history, it’s still tough for young people to get access to credit. Despite the perception that young adults are more inclined to adopt new payment technologies than other groups, they are actually the most likely to say they prefer cash (40%) out of any other age group, according to the San Francisco Fed report. “I think that pushes against the conventional wisdom that cash isn’t being used by younger generations,” said Doug Conover, co-author of the report.
4. There are still millions of Americans who don’t bother with banks at all.
Most people think of using cash as a choice, but for as many as 10 million households, it’s simply the only form of currency they use. That’s the number of households still unbanked in the U.S., according to the latest data by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. More than twice as many households – 24 million – were considered “underbanked” in 2011, up 18.2% from 2009. Underbanked households typically only have a savings or a checking account, but not both. Silicon Valley can keep churning out mobile wallet technology all it wants, but as long as there are still millions of people who can never take advantage of them, cash will never die.
Read More At Yahoo.