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Cash is king in the USA, affirms PYMNTS research

April 2, 2018 Share Source

It appears that 'the narrative that cash is dead or in decline is overhyped, according to the latest PYMNTS research.' The Global Cash Index: US Edition, a collaboration with Cardtronics, predicts that 'U.S. cash share will represent 11.2% of the nation’s GDP by 2021.'

With the majority of Americans reporting to prefer cash for day-to-day payments, cash remains undefeated even in the age of age of debit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets and cryptocoins.

While Americans’ digital transactions are now powered by a variety of payment methods [...] no single digital payment method has managed to match or unseat cash usage levels. NEW REPORT: Cash Holds Firm Against Rising Digital Dollar, March, 2018

Some Key Findings from the Global Cash Index: U.S. Edition 

  • The U.S. used over $2.3 trillion in cash in 2015.
  • Cash share in the U.S. in 2016 accounted for 12.6 percent of the nation’s GDP.
  • PYMNTS forecasts that U.S. cash share will represent 11.2 percent of the country’s GDP by 2021.
“Consumers rate cash highly for convenience, cost, setup and acceptance for payment,”
" Claire Greene Payment Risk Analyst Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Excerpt from PYMNTS Global Cash Index: US edition (March 2018) Introduction

Cash has a lot of competition these days. From Google Pay to the latest cryptocurrencies, the news cycle never seems to tire of covering new cashless ways to pay. Concurrently, though, credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and a variety of mobile payments have long vied to claim bigger pieces of the payments pie.

'But rumors of cash’s decline in the U.S. economy have been greatly exaggerated.'
" Global Cash Index: US Edition PYMNTS, March 2018 a Cardtronics collaboration

But rumors of cash’s decline in the U.S. economy have been greatly exaggerated. Despite other payment methods competing to give it a run for its money, and a long-running narrative that suggests an imminent demise, PYMNTS research has found cash is maintaining its grip. Indeed, as the world’s largest economy, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), the U.S. is still very dependent on cash. It appears, then, that cash is not only sticking around but is also poised for modest growth in the coming years.

Download full report here


PYMNTS. 'Global Cash Index: United States Edition.' PYMNTS with Cardtronics. Electronically published March 18, 2018. Accessed March 30, 2018.

Related Articles

Business Insider The death of cash might be overstated
Cash still sees healthy usage in the US: The share of cash in 2016 accounted for 12.6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and the study forecasts that it will account for 11.2% of the US GDP by 2021... Here are three factors that might contribute to the endurance of cash in the US: Cash persists for low-value transactions... 

Last Updated: June 7, 2018

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