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The Resilience of Cash in Mexico: A Conversation

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash generates security, Cash is available to all users
April 14, 2022
Tags : Access to cash, Cash, Cash and Crises, Digital payments, Mexico
In March 2022, CashEssentials participated in a conversation on the resilience of cash in Mexico during the Global Money Week, an OECD initiative to promote financial literacy.
Manuel A. Bautista-González

Ph.D. in U.S. History, Columbia University in the City of New York

Post-Doctoral Researcher in Global Correspondent Banking, 1870-2000 – Mexico and South America, University of Oxford

This post is also available in: Spanish

The Global Money Week initiative is an annual global awareness-raising campaign on financial literacy to achieve financial well-being and resilience. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has organized the campaign since 2012. This year’s campaign took place on March 21-27, with the theme “Build your future, be smart about money.” Central banks, banking and financial firms, industry associations, government agencies, universities, museums, foundations, and non-profits joined the initiative worldwide.

The Center for Research and Education in Economics (CIDE), a public research university in Mexico City, organized a conversation about cash and its resilience for Global Money Week. Gustavo del Ángel, an economics professor at CIDE, chaired the conversation. Fernando Gutiérrez, a reporter at El Economista, covered the event.

An Empirical Approach

Manuel Bautista, a contributing writer at CashEssentials, gave brief remarks about the resilience of cash. Bautista drew from the “Cash Essentials – Beyond Payments” whitepaper and “Changes in Cash Usage and Digital Payments during the Covid-19 Pandemic,” a co-authored article with Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo and Ignacio González Correa published in the Papeles de Economía Española journal.

An Institutional Approach

Sara Castellanos, a senior researcher at Banco de México, said that cash is the means of payment par excellence. An institutional framework makes it different from other payment instruments. Cash fulfils all functions of money: it serves as a means of payment,  a store of value, and a unit of account; it also has a legal tender. According to Castellanos, these elements grant cash unopposed purchasing power instead of other alternatives.

Sara Castellanos’ remarks do not reflect Banco de México’s official positions about the topics discussed.

A Behavioral Science Approach

Ana Laura Martínez, a public policy professor at CIDE, stated that money is a product of society. Our money habits reflect personal and social values. Martínez also said that the dominance of cash in retail payments reflects social mores and consumers’ search for security.

This post is also available in: Spanish