The death of paper money and its replacement by digital payment methods has been widely publicised in the media across the world. Nevertheless, various reports and studies containing hard data demonstrate the exact opposite.
George Sarantopoulos, CEO of Access One ATM, denounced the various attacks that cash faces in his conference “The Investigation on the War of Cash” held at 2016 National ATM Council Conference & Expo. He notably cited the wave of new regulations restricting cash usage designed to discourage people from hoarding money in cash; the US Choke Point Operation that hinders the activities of cash-intensive businesses in the name of the fight against money-laundering; and the anti-cash disinformation campaign conducted by many US media.
The reality is that the introduction of alternative means of payment contributed to widening the payment landscape with no impact on the demand for cash. Indeed, figures of the Federal Reserve Bank Payment Diaries demonstrate that banknotes remain the preferred payment instrument in the US, with a steady growth of cash in circulation. For instance, 5.7 billion $20 notes were in circulation in 2007, 8.5 billion in 2015 and 10 billion are expected to circulate by 2020.
It is often argued that millennials are the most willing to shift away from cash in favour of e-transactions yet the exact opposite is true. Data demonstrates that they may well be the most attached to paper money as they have experienced the 2008 financial crisis when coming of age, preventing them from relying on the banking and credit systems.
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