82% of Americans Still Carry Cash
Mobile wallets, debit cards and credit cards may point to a cash-free future, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. According to the latest J.D. Power Pulse Survey, 78% of consumers believe merchants should be required to accept cash. This feeling is consistent across all generations.
When asked if they carry cash, 82% of respondents said they normally have cash on hand, and 25% said they usually have at least $50 in cash. Surprisingly, cash was more popular than card payments: 67% of participants said they had used cash in the last week, while 61% said they had used a debit card and 54% used a credit card. Only 20% of consumers said they used a mobile wallet to make a purchase.
Why are consumers still using cash? Security breaches are certainly a concern, but most consumers (60%) said they keep cash on hand for emergencies. Other reasons included having cash for small purchases (50%), using cash to tip (42%) and using cash to stay on budget (20%).
Consumers aren’t the only ones leery of a cashless society. Several states and cities have banned stores from going cashless. Massachusetts has a law dating back to 1978 which says, “No retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit.”
As J.D. Power pointed out, “For those consumers that either cannot afford or choose not to have smart phones, bank accounts, or lines of credit, a requirement to accept cash prevents building barriers to entry.” At this time, cash is a necessary part of America’s economy, and it looks to be that way for the foreseeable future.