The holiday seasons are a time of joy – there’s family, great food, and of course, a full-on buying craze as shoppers scramble to get everyone that perfect gift.
But while many people spend their days and weeks leading up to this time of year counting cash, they may want to advise against it this time around. They aren’t being pushed not to shop – just to take a more modern approach to it.
Cash is becoming less and less popular at retailers across the country, and not even the holiday season can reverse this trend. American Express travelers checks and even cold hard cash are both taking a backseat to the more convenient digital payment methods available today.
This doesn’t just mean credit cards and debit cards – it means the apps and other solutions that allow for fast digital payment. But why exactly is this the case? Consider the advantages. For one, there’s less of a target for thieves. Running off with a handful of cash is a big catch – but running off with a card that will probably be cancelled and have its fraudulent charges traced is much less appealing to crooks.
Then factor in the added benefits for the retailers themselves. They have less to worry about in the way of cash processing and handling, which can be costly and time consuming. They may be able to use more convenient systems if the bulk of their payments are digital. It’s easier to count profits, make accurate financial predictions, and cut back on hassles. It’s a win for everybody.
Jack Forestell, chief product officer for Visa, spoke about the trend of locations that abandoned the cash approach and never looked back. He said: “The momentum started in restaurant space, but we’re certainly seeing spillover.”
That spillover is affecting companies like Amazon, Casper, The Bar Method, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and many more. The age of cash may be coming to a close, as the swipe or scan method has provided a clear boost in convenience and efficiency for businesses.
Who started this trend though? While it is easy to think that one of the major companies on this list put things in motion and functioned as a trendsetter for fellow competitors and the consumer to follow, it is actually the other way around. The consumers have set this trend in motion, and the retailers are following along.
About 30 percent of retail transactions are done in cash now – and just over five years ago, that number was 40 percent. It shows how the trend is continuing, and how many young people are especially averse to cash. This trend could mean that retailers who capitalize on the buying trend will have better success, especially around the big buying season of the year.
Think about exactly how this could affect the future – will cards one day face the same fate, and people will pay entirely with their phones? Something new? Time will tell, and it will show exactly how fast the economy is evolving in terms of payment methods.