CashEssentials moderated an insightful seminar on February 19th on the topic of “Understanding Cash Usage”. Academics, central bank researchers, representatives of commercial banks and cash management companies took part in lively discussions about how data is collected and observed as well as future challenges facing the payments industry.
Given the large amount of information shared during the full-day seminar, CashEssentials will be publishing some of the key highlights of these sessions in the coming months, so stay tuned for more information on the subject!
Topics focused on drivers of cash usage, demand for banknotes, money services and seigniorage, cash volume forecasting as well as more philosophical questions such as “will cash disappear?” and “does the transactional demand for cash matter?”
A question that seemed to resurface throughout the day was whether declining cash usage is truly driven by consumer demand, as alternative payment methods claim, or whether it’s subtly driven by a generalised trend of declining accessibility to cash and cash services (i.e. ATM and bank branch closures, cashless only shops, government imposed cash restrictions etc.). Although consumers generally express their desire to maintain the freedom to choose their preferred payment method in a given context, when restrictions are imposed or when access is denied, does that not inherently challenge the very foundation of “choice”?