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Cash sheds light on Target stores’ weekend power outage

Categories : Cash is available to all users, Cash is easy to use, Cash is efficient
June 26, 2019
Tags : Cash, Consumers, Payment instruments
A temporary power outage at Target that left customers unable to process their payments reminds us how a society driven by digital payments alone, could in fact cost the consumer more.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

This post is also available in: Spanish

Customers across the US were greeted with back-to-back power outages this month while doing their weekend shopping run at US retail store Target, leaving stores unable to process credit or debit card payments, the NBC News reports.

It’s a headache we all want to avoid – moving through crowded aisles and queuing up in what could be very long lines – only to find out that the register is down for the next two hours due to a system outage. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, makes a valid point, “It’s just a reminder that we have to carry a nominal amount of cash even if we have no plans to use it, because you just never know when you might be in a pinch”.

The 2018 report on the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, shows that cash is the most frequently used payment instrument and revealed how:

It goes without saying that having cash at hand really comes in handy – especially when technology decides not to cooperate. In April this year, – showing us how cash plays a critical role in emergency situations. Moreover, more than 7 million people in the UK were unable to pay with their cards due to IT glitches last year, reports consumer group Which?. In their survey of more than 2,000 people, one in seven experienced difficulties that made it impossible to use their card over the course of 2018. To make matters worse, one in twenty people had it happen more than once.

Cash payments still hold many benefits. Plenty of companies emphasise putting the customer first as a prime consideration. In this digital age, we should still question whether taking away payment options is truly customer-centric and whether, ultimately, it could cost the consumer more.

This post is also available in: Spanish