Some people have thought that, especially with the rise of online payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, that the use of cash was dying out in the United States.
Not so, according to Doug Pertz, CEO of Brinks, the cash management company. In a recent interview with CNBC, Pertz stated that cash in circulation is even higher than it was pre-pandemic.
During the interview, Pertz stated, “Potential investors confuse that cash is going down,” [but] the strength of cash is just as strong as it was before, and the amount of cash [used] in the economy is just as strong.”
As an example, Pertz relayed that Brinks had processed 6% more cash in 2020 than it had in previous years.
Cash in Circulation
According to the Federal Reserve, the amount of cash in circulation increased during 2020. A report by the Federal Reserve titled, Consumer Payments and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Second Supplement to the 2020 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice found that, “Cash holdings have increased throughout the pandemic, with an average household store of value held in cash at about $530 in August. Respondents stated that cash held in their pocket, purse, or wallet has remained stable at around $70.”
The Stability and Security of Cash
One of the many reasons why Americans are still using cash is because of its stability and anonymity. In a world where there are alarmingly more and more cases of identity theft, cash is the safest way to pay for goods and services. According to an article in Fortune, “Cash is the most anonymous form of payment that exists right now, preserving privacy in a way that even cryptocurrency doesn’t.”
The article goes on to say that, “Cash is one of the last strongholds left to maintain anonymity and keep purchasing information truly private without handing heaps of data to the corporations that make a buck off your receipts—or worse, to hackers, in the case of a data breach.”
With an increase of cash in circulation and the increasing need for security in our payment systems, as Brinks’ Doug Pertz says, “cash isn’t going away.”