Majority of Americans believe cash will die out in their lifetime

Just under two-thirds of Americans believe that cash will die out within their lifetime with payments being made with credit/debit cards and other electronic forms of payments.

The results comes just as mobile payments are being expanded and improved in the US with a new FIS partnership seeing 70,000 cardless ATMs working with iPhones and the Touch ID technology.

screenshot of a table of gallup data about cash

Breaking the data down by age still presented a fairly consistent majority with 58% of those 65 and older and 63% of 18- to 29-year-olds believing cash will become a thing of the past. (All screenshots are from Gallup’s research.)

It’s all nice to say that people believe cash will die in the lifetime, but how they pay in the present is an equally important metric.

Despite responding with a belief that cash will fade, the majority (54%) still likes to have cash in pocket at all times compared to the 42% who don’t.

Unsurprisingly, younger age groups are more comfortable with not having cash at all times. Americans over 30, including 60% of the oldest age group expressed a desire to have cash on them at all times.

screenshot of a gallup poll result about cash and electronic payments

The youngest people’s response reinforces earlier Gallup findings of young people making significantly fewer cash transactions than they did five years ago.

Twenty-one percent of young Americans, between the ages 23-34, said they make all or most of their purchases with cash, down 18 percentage points from the 39% who said they used cash to that extent five years ago.

Someone between the ages of 30 and 49 is likely to carry more than double the average of cash that 18-29-year-olds prefer to carry.

screenshot of a gallup poll about american's payment preferences

The report concluded:

Cash is becoming less a part of Americans’ purchasing behavior as they gravitate toward other payment options and shift toward online purchases, rather than transactions in a brick-and-mortar store.

Younger American customers’ lower likelihood to use cash and greater comfort with not having it on hand suggest that the economy will have to adapt. This has significant implications for the credit card, banking and e-commerce industries as well as the local stores and businesses in every U.S. town and city.

In the short term, this shift will place greater pressure on these businesses to adapt and accept electronic payments. In the long term, Americans largely predict that cash will become a relic.

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