Most Americans Are Skeptical About a Cashless Future

It seems that, despite fewer Americans using cash for daily transactions, the majority still can’t envision a future where the U.S. would be rid of cash altogether. According to a new study by YouGov and reported on by MarketingCharts, less than half (46%) of the Americans surveyed said they could foresee a cashless economy coming to the country. At the same time only one-fifth of respondents report utilizing cash on a daily basis. However what’s more interesting about those figures is how they compare to other countries.

Topping the list for daily cash usage among the seven countries surveyed was Indonesia where 80% of respondents say they use cash every day. Incidentally those Indonesians surveyed were also the most likely to anticipate a cashless future with 80% subscribing to the belief. Meanwhile 75% of Chinese, 68% of Danes, and 67% of Swedes say they could foresee their countries moving to a cashless system.

One of the less surprising discoveries of the YouGov study was that the vast majority of Americans utilize credit cards when shopping in stores. Altogether 86% of respondents in the U.S. report using cards for transactions, including 47% using chip cards, 34% swiping them, and 5% utilizing contactless payment options such as Apple Pay. By comparison a total of 48% of adults in Germany use credit cards along with just 42% of those in Indonesia. As for contactless payments, the U.S. 5% usage was far behind countries like Sweden (12%), Germany (14%), Denmark (20%), and the United Kingdom (24%).

Overall these latest study results show that, while Americans have certainly embraced credit cards — including chip card technology, which is still relatively new to the States — contactless payments are not catching on as fast as many would hope. Add that reality to the size and diversity of the U.S. and it is understandable why Americans are less hopeful about a cashless future than some of their international counterparts. Regardless of these current perceptions, it seems likely that advancements in technology and new solutions presented by FinTech startups will chip away at cash usage further, potentially inching us closer to an all-digital economy. Of course it’s hard to say just when the tipping point will come and when more people will embrace the idea of a cashless future.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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