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Death of cash and payment cards greatly exaggerated

The contradictions of payment systems developments world-wide is shown by two recent developments:

  • Cash usage world-wide is growing latest report shows
  • Fingerprint ID is moving to payment cards.

Cash usage

A new report from G4S - Global Cash Report - shows that cash is still the most widely used payment instrument world-wide, in all continents and the most efficient:

Source & Copyright©2018 - G4S

The ‘World Cash Report’ surveyed 47 countries covering 75 per cent of the global population and over 90 per cent of the world’s GDP. The findings show that demand for cash continues to rise globally, despite the increase in electronic payment options, including mobile in recent years.  Cash in circulation relative to GDP has increased to 9.6 per cent across all continents, up from 8.1 per cent in 2011.

The report higlights the main benefits of cash:

  • COST-EFFICIENCY: For consumers and still for many businesses cash is the most cost efficient payment method.
  • INCLUSION: All over the world people prefer to use cash, and for many people it is the only viable payment method. Businesses that stop using cash are excluding a material portion of the society and risk losing customer.
  • TRUST: There are no third parties involved in cash payment other than the buyer and seller 
  • RELIABILITY: Cash is not reliant on electronic infrastructure, and therefore is not subject to any outages causing non-availability of the service. 
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Physical cash is readily available and does not incur any additional charges for customers. It also allows for better budgeting as users can only spend what they have.
  • CONFIDENTIALITY: Cash is direct. You don’t have to hand over personal information and what you buy is confidential. 

Clearly G4S are pushing cash, but the report listed an important fact: only two thirds of people in the world have a bank account. Cash is all inclusive and is not going away.

JCB to use fingerprint ID and drop PIN

Card usage is booming world-wide as the RBR report that number of card payments is set to grow from 29 billion in 2016 to 70 billion in 2022. One reason is that payment card issuers keep improving the product. JCB, the Japanese payment card company, is conducting a pilot trial with IDEMIA, a global Augmented Identity provider of its latest JCB Biometrics Card with fingerprint authentication:


JCB plan to drop PIN ID in the near future. This will prolong the role of payment cards. Cards are not going away either.


CTMfile take: As Mark Twain would have said: “The reports of the death of cash and payment cards are grossly exaggerated.” Mondex eat your heart out.


This item appears in the following sections:
Payments - Collecting at POS
Card Payments at POS
Cash Payments at POS
Payments - Making
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