In our line of work (counterfeit detection) I get this question a lot. Doesn’t everyone just use credit or debit cards? What about contactless payments? Well, yes and no. The use of alternative methods of payment are a vital part of our country’s current economy. Especially during the 2020 pandemic we saw a large dependance especially on digital transactions. But what we are also seeing is that cash is still king for many people.
Let’s look at the facts. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office more than 7-million American households have no bank accounts or are unable to establish a line of credit. The reason for individuals being underbanked or even bankless varies, but it usually comes down to a few factors. Low income and less educated households tend to be less likely to have a bank account and rely solely on cash transactions. Other at-risk members of the population that are underbanked have unsteady or off the books jobs, low fund reserves, or even just have a deep distrust of banks.
Another staggering statistic that proves cash is still alive and well comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. According to a study run by the Reserve in 2020, even in the middle of the pandemic 26% of all purchases and 50% of transactions less than $10 were completed using cash. From the prospective of a business owner these are important statistics. Thinking that cash payments are a thing of the past can not only limit your business from making sales, but it can also make you open to falling victim to counterfeit cash. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury there is up to $200 million worth of counterfeit bills currently in circulation, and every day we see more and more reports of counterfeit cash in circulation.
So, to answer the question of do people still use cash? The answer is a resounding yes. Not only is cash still used in daily transactions it is also being unlawfully replicated at an unprecedented rate. And even more concerning, is the fact that many businesses or even private individuals who take part in cash transactions rely solely on their senses to check if the money that they are accepting is the real deal. Cashiers are busy, and fakes can be incredibly convincing to the untrained eye. Just feeling the paper or holding the bill up to the light may not be enough.
Really, anytime you are accepting cash, you should give yourself an extra layer of protection and have a counterfeit detection device handy. Dri Mark Products is the original patent holder of the Counterfeit Detector Pen in the early 1990’s and since then has added a full line of detection products to their arsenal. Shop all Dri Mark’s detection solutions and get protected now HERE.