Linking Cash and Digital Commerce
A U.S. consumer study points to opportunities for bridging the divide between cash and digital commerce. Allowing people to use physical currency for online purchases could make for more equitable access to e-commerce and open a new market segment for related businesses.
The U.S. Health of Cash Study shows that payment choice is important to consumers, and the option to pay cash remains highly valued. 66 percent of respondents said cash protects their privacy and financial security, 63 percent said allowing people to pay cash was important for society in general and 44 percent felt it remains the easiest way to pay.
The study notes that cash presently falls outside the digital economy in America, and this needs to change to enable full consumer choice. Exploring the potential market for such options, 19 percent of study respondents said paying cash in-store to pick up items ordered online would be their preferred option. 28 percent would like to pay cash for order-ahead food and 31 percent would choose it for personal services.
While not yet prevalent in America, paying cash for ecommerce transactions is already common across Latin America, representing 85 percent of all payments. There are multiple systems in place to accommodate voucher-based payments that mean even unbanked customers have access to the online economy, and its rapid growth in the region is supported by cash.