Is Cash Still King?

As cashless payments become increasingly popular, are we about to see the end of coins and notes altogether?

Earlier this year, cashless payments overtook traditional coin and note payments for the first time ever. According to the Payments Council consumer, business and financial organisations payments in cash dropped to just 48%. Cashless payments such as bank transfers, card payments and cheques made up the other 52%. With the launch of Apple Pay and contactless card payments, cash payments are only expected to decline.

Going Digital

Some are predicting that we are on the brink of a digital revolution when it comes to payments, and it is just a matter of time before physical cash is phased out altogether. Speed, ease and security of transactions are what consumers look for when paying or transferring money, and contactless payments (for the most part) have all three. But are we ready to move away from physical cash completely, or does it still have a role to play in business?

The End of Cash?

David Wolman, speaking to Wired said:

"Eliminating cash right now would be foolish. Many people and businesses still depend on it. What we're talking about are the forces nudging it toward obsolescence. The Danish government's recent proposal to let merchants refuse cash payments is one such nudge, just as countries eliminating small change is another, Apple Pay is another, and so forth.

My prediction is only that digital options will only expand and improve, making cash less and less relevant. Whether it ever completely dies is actually a lot less interesting to consider than the social and economic impact of the emerging technologies that are threatening it".

Although cashless payments are becoming more and more common, there are many people and businesses that still rely on physical cash. While cash is undoubtedly in decline, it will be a long time before we see it gone forever.