I believe there are several products that are lessening the need for cash, including but not limited to, prepaid cards, peer-to-peer transfer, and ever-progressing mobile technology, but there will always be those consumers and businesses that remain loyal to the greenback.
THE DEMISE OF CASH
Phones are getting smarter, new peer-to-peer money transfer apps are sweeping the app stores, banking is becoming more accessible via online and mobile, and of course, the readily available prepaid card that you can now get from merchants, banks, money service providers, payroll companies and even telecom providers.
Consumers are being peppered with opportunities to sign up for a prepaid card. Phone companies offer discounts if you use their prepaid card to pay their phone bill.
Banks offer prepaid card services to the consumer that does not fit their traditional banking requirements.
Check cashing locations want to convert their customers to direct deposit to a prepaid card in order to mitigate their risk in cashing the consumer’s check.
The federal government has even switched from issuing checks to sending out prepaid cards to those on government-funded programs such as EDD.
SHIFT TOWARD A CASH-FREE SOCIETY
Groups of all shapes and sizes are moving towards a cash-less society, from the upper class to the lower class.
Nearly 2/3 of Americans own a smartphone. With a smartphone, you gain access to products like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and a number of other mobile methods of payment.
Yes, those services are typically linked to a bank account or credit card, and there are 17 million people in the US that don’t have a bank account or don’t use the traditional banking system.
No worries, Money Service Businesses and Financial Service Centers across the US offer services to the unbanked community. And with that, offer prepaid card services that can be linked to a mobile application to pay bills, send money or make online purchases.
You can quickly see the migration away from checks and cash to a prepaid society and mobile or electronic forms of payment.
LIMITATIONS OF CASH
- You can’t use cash for online purchases. E-commerce is such a large part of our society and with online retailers like Amazon or Ebay, a consumer must use a form of plastic or e-wallet like PayPal in order to complete a purchase.
- Cash can easily be misplaced, destroyed or stolen.
- This one can be looked at as a positive or negative, but only having cash on hand creates a limit on spending. If you take $50 in cash to a grocery store and that is your only means of purchase, then you are limited to buying $50 worth of groceries. If your bill rings up to $53, it’s time to put something back on the shelf.
Government and banks benefit from a cash-less society.
All financial transactions would be accounted for; meaning Currency Transaction Reporting (CTRs) would be seamless, if aggregated properly.
Having a cash-less society makes money laundering more difficult, which is something FinCEN and the IRS have been cracking down on for years.
While Money Service Businesses and Financial Service Centers across the country are required to adopt Anti-Money Laundering Policies and Procedures, many of these businesses still operate primarily in cash.
A cash-less society would migrate the consumer away from many of the brick and mortar money service businesses.
That being said, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and other branded card companies will continue to thrive in a cash-less society, making money on every processed transaction.Tags: Financial Services, Money Service Business, MSB