Digital payments are becoming more commonplace, and cryptocurrencies have been all the rage. New technologies like Apple Pay are allowing consumers to carry their wallets on their phones. Even statistics suggest consumer preferences are shifting away from cash, at least in some places.
With all of these advances, it would be easy to think cash is going to disappear. Nonetheless, cash isn’t going away anytime soon. Even the tech gurus in Silicon Valley agree with that statement.
So why is cash sticking around? There are quite a few reasons.
It Hasn’t Happened Yet
This is probably the strongest argument for the continued use of cash in the foreseeable future. People have long predicted a move to a cashless society, but it just hasn’t come to pass.
Take the example of chequing accounts, which were introduced in the early 20th century. Cheques didn’t replace cash. Nor did credit cards or debit cards when they came into mainstream use in the 20th century.
Cash Might Actually Be More Secure
Some people advocate going cashless because cash is so easy to steal and so easy to counterfeit. This is, unfortunately, true. If you leave your cash in your wallet and someone steals your wallet, your money is gone.
So are your credit and debit card, however, and criminals have been getting more sophisticated when it comes to stealing people’s hard-earned money. Whether it’s hacking into a company’s database or your phone, thieves could make off with your banking information or your credit card number.
Fraud is on the increase as well, with people taking out loans and credit cards under stolen identities.
The big problem here is that these criminals can steal your money at virtually any time, from anywhere in the world, and they can take all of your funds. With cash, they have to be physically present and they can only take the amount you have on you.
Cash Is Necessary in a Crisis
Governments, of course, still need cash on hand to back up the value of their currency. They also need it in case of an emergency, such as a natural disaster.
Individuals should also live by this logic. What would happen if a natural disaster took out power for two or three days? Would you be able to buy food or pay for services that you needed?
Cash still works in these scenarios, which makes it ideal for dealing with these kinds of crises.
People Still Prefer Cash
Perhaps the best indicator that cash isn’t going anywhere is that it’s often the preferred payment in certain locations.
In Asia, cash is still preferred to all other forms of payments. The exception is China, which has a preference for digital payments.
In Europe, consumers also prefer cash, especially when they’re making smaller purchases. The same holds true in North America, particularly for small purchases.
Not Everyone Has a Bank Account
A final nail in the coffin of an entirely cashless society is that not everyone has a bank account. While the criteria for opening a bank account aren’t always as strict as those for getting a credit card, not everyone qualifies to open a bank account.
These people still need and use cash.
As possible as a cashless society often seems, it’s unlikely to happen any time soon. For now, cash is here to stay.