What do consumers want from mobile banking?

August 18, 2016
/   Insights

In the last couple of years, mobile banking has grown from being a fairly niche channel adopted by only the tech-savvy to one of the most common ways for people all across the world...

UK prepares to launch new polymer £5 note

August 4, 2016
/   Insights

Britain will soon become the latest country to release polymer banknotes into circulation, joining nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Vietnam in the shift to plastic currency.

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the Banking.com team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

You don’t have to look far to find a study, survey or expert proclaiming the death of cash. The evolution of digital technologies means people can pay for goods and services with a swipe of their card, a flick of the phone or even by waving their watch.

It’s perhaps not difficult to see why, in comparison, cash seems an old-fashioned way to complete everyday transactions – leading many people to predict its demise.

Recent figures showed 68 per cent of individuals polled in the UK thought cashless technologies would replace physical money within 20 years. Similar results arose in a 2015 Lloyds Banking Group survey, with 25 per cent of consumers believing they wouldn’t need cash to pay for purchases by 2020.

“Whether it is contactless, wearable tech or fingerprint ID, people are increasingly expecting to use new technologies to make payments rather than rely on cash,” Claire Garrod, head of personal current accounts at Lloyds Bank, said at the time.

Do these innovations really mean the death of cash? Not necessarily. In fact, some people predict that societies are more likely to become cardless before they become cashless. Why would this be? First, let’s look at an example of how cash and card use is changing in certain countries.

Swedish cash and card trends

Sweden is among the nations leading the charge in moving towards a cashless society. Figures from the country’s central bank, Riksbank, revealed that only 20 per cent of people’s transactions were cash-based in 2014, having dropped from 39 per cent four years earlier.

The institution revealed that 93 per cent of Swedes had used a card as a payment method in the last month, while 87 per cent said they’d paid in cash.

“I think, in practice, Sweden will pretty much be a cashless society within about five years,” Niklas Arvidsson, an associate professor that specializes in payment systems at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology, told the Guardian in June.

Nevertheless, even Mr Arvidsson feels a completely cashless society would be a huge step, as it would require difficult decisions being made at the political level.

“The idea of cash, even in Sweden, remains very strong,” he added.

But how could a country like Sweden become cardless before cashless? Especially considering how ubiquitous card use is among Swedes?

The benefits of cash

Cash transactions appear to be declining, but there are a number of reasons why we could see the demise of cards before physical coins and notes disappear.

First, cash offers an anonymous and universally accepted means of payment. Many merchants offer a range of digital payment options, but people often know their cash is always going to be good, wherever they shop in person.

Furthermore, unbanked and underbanked individuals who don’t have access to traditional financial services may find cash is their only meaningful way of making purchases. Crucially, coins and notes can also be used when technology breaks down or power outages occur.

On the other hand, most forms of digital payment are somewhat amalgamated, which means that while they differ in execution, many rely on similar underlying frameworks, devices and technologies.

This means cards could quickly be usurped by alternative payment methods in the future, whether it’s mobile phones, cryptocurrency, wearables or even microchip implants.

Ultimately, cash provides consumers with various unique benefits that other payments are unable to deliver. So while cards may be in the ascendency now, there’s a convincing argument to suggest they could die out before physical money.

Cleopatra Mavredis is NCR’s Global Marketing Manager for Channel solutions and has more than 20+ years of experience in the ATM industry. NCR’s channel solution portfolio is comprised of APTRA Vision, Inetco Insight and OptiSuite solutions.

Thinkstock Photo



Banking.com’s perspective on industry news and trends



Must-read news and insights from financial industry leaders



Compelling voices and contributed content from around the web

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp