Is Cash No Longer King? A Guide to Non-Cash Payment Methods

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By guest writer Karen McCarthy

There once was a time when the majority of transactions were carried out through the use of tangible, physical cash, but in today’s increasingly technological world, alternative forms of payment appear to have taken over as a preference to traditional bank notes and coins.

This infographic by Irish online till roll provider Paper2Paper takes a statistical look at how non-cash payment methods have become so prevalent throughout the world in recent years, with a special focus on the rising trend of contactless card payments. Every year, non-cash payments globally increase by an average of 7.6%, with the total value of non-cash payments expected to surpass those made with physical currency by the end of this year. Indeed, within the next 10 years, it is projected that adults in the UK will use cash only twice over a given three-day period, and that they will make 1.5 card transactions for every cash transaction. In addition, all Visa terminals in Europe are anticipated to accept contactless payments by the year 2020. How far we have come since the days when ATM machines were a revolutionary novelty.

The infographic goes on to look at a series of non-cash payment methods, explaining how each one is used and identifying their respective benefits and drawbacks. Contactless payments and debit/credit cards continue to grow in popularity, while the use of standing orders and direct debits for making regular payments, such as utility bills, remains steady. The one exception to the surging non-cash trend is the old-fashioned check. These have diminished in use dramatically and tend to be out of favor in many quarters.

The burning question from all of this is whether cash is hurtling towards extinction. It would seem that, for all the increases in non-cash payments, the time-honored notes and coins are still vital. Think about it: would you pay a babysitter or a piano teacher with a debit card? Also, if you’re purchasing an everyday item like a can of soda, is it not easier to simply hand over simple cash rather than putting it through your card? Cash still has its place, but non-cash payments are growing and will continue to grow.

Infographic Is Cash No Longer King – A Guide to Non-Cash Payment Methods (1)

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