The advent of alternative payment mechanisms such as contactless, digital wallets and mobile proxy services like Paym have all heralded a new age in which the physical manifestation of money is no longer necessary. Many companies have built strategies around a vision of a low-cash economy that fosters financial inclusion by making digital payments more accessible through investment in the latest technology.
Despite the physical requirements of accessing and carrying cash, and the obvious security risks associated with it, people continue to value cash for a variety of reasons: its convenience and immediacy; its universal acceptance; the way its physical nature supports budgeting and education; and the anonymity and untraceability it supports.
So, while the number of cash transactions is in decline in many markets – in the UK it has fallen by 26% in the last 5 years2 – and there is no doubt that they will continue to drop as consumers embrace other forms of payment, there is also strong evidence to suggest that cash will continue to play a significant role in our lives for the foreseeable future.
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