There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the way we move about, interact with our friends and family, and go about our daily lives. However, one steadfast fact is that Americans still love cash.
In a new report by YouGov, an international research data and analytics group based in London, findings conclude that 30% of Americans still prefer to use cash. The report, “YOUGOV’S GLOBAL BANKING & FINANCE REPORT 2021”, states that, “The ‘death of cash’ has been frequently pronounced, but the data shows that in [the studied] seventeen markets it has been overstated. In most, hard currency is either preferred by a plurality of consumers or there is a clear split between those who prefer it and those who do not.”
YouGov’s report looks at how COVID-19 has affected the global market when it comes to payment preferences and behaviors. Seventeen markets were studied: Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
Out of these seventeen markets, over half “prefer to use cash.” China had the lowest results when it came to a preference for cash (10%) and Mexico the highest (50%+). The U.S. had a preference for cash of 30%.
With over 14 million Americans unbanked and almost 49 million adults underbanked, it’s not surprising that cash is still highly regarded in this country. In a recent Time article, the author stated, “Without access to affordable or attainable financial services, unbanked and underbanked populations throughout the country must find alternative means of completing regular financial tasks, from cashing checks and saving money to taking out loans and even making transactions.
“Often, these alternative methods lead to predatory lenders, sky-high interest rates, hefty fees, and other expenses that leave people in a cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck or otherwise unable to meet financial goals.”
Until our society can address the complicated issue of poverty, it will continue to be vital that those who have the least in our communities have access to the goods and services that they need to not just survive, but thrive. Cash is often the way to reach those goals.