Square, a digital payment system provider based in San Francisco, recently published the fourth chapter in their Making Change report. Chapter 4, titled One Year of Payments and the Pandemic, looks at data to determine how global commerce has shifted. The report finds that even though the online payments we come to rely upon during the pandemic aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, neither is the use of cash.
Square commissioned third-party data from research firm Wakefield Research in which they surveyed 1,000 business owners and 1,000 consumers to find out how they were feeling about cash one year after the pandemic was reported in America. When asked if they thought that America was inching closer to becoming a cashless society, 73% of consumers and 68% of business owners stated that the U.S. won’t ever become a completely cashless economy.
That being said, in spite of state and regional moves to ban businesses from declining cash, some states have moved more toward a cashless economy. Washington, D.C., Vermont, Maine, Delaware, and West Virginia have all made the largest shift toward cashless businesses while Idaho, Arkansas, Nebraska, Montana, and North Dakota have made the smallest.
It remains to be seen how far the cashless movement will go. More states are introducing legislation and putting measures on the 2022 ballots to help ban cashless commerce. And with 26% of all payments occurring in cash (47% of payments under $10), it is unlikely that is going away anytime soon.