Cash Usage is Strong in America

calendar iconJun 10, 2022


Cash usage is strong in America, with circulating currency up 13 percent year-on-year and ATM withdrawals up 32 percent. 28 percent of in-person, non-bill payments are being made in cash and 65 percent of consumers say cashless businesses are less inclusive than those that accept cash.

The figures are drawn from Federal Reserve data (on cash circulation) and cash management provider Brinks (all other figures), which reports a 17 percent increase in the value of cash it processed in the second quarter of 2021 versus the previous year.

Brinks notes the pandemic accelerated e-commerce, raising its share of retail sales from 11 percent to 14 percent over the course of 2020, but predicts its growth rate will level off and decelerate between now and 2025. It anticipates e-commerce settling at around 23 percent of total retail sales within the next three years.

In-person retail sales are forecast to settle at around 75 percent by 2025, which is significant for cash as it remains widely used for such transactions, accounting for around 28 percent.

Citing data from a 2021 study commissioned by Square, Inc., Brinks notes 85 percent of consumers are likely to walk away from a business when they can’t use their preferred payment method and 65 percent believe businesses that refuse cash are less inclusive than those offering full payment choice.

Paying with cash provides consumers with a lot more privacy than do electronic forms of payment and reduces the amount of personal information at risk of data breaches.
"Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy, Consumer Federation of America
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2022