With All the New Ways of Paying – Cash Is Still Popular

Jan 23, 2017

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, though consumers are using new methods to make payments, cash is still popular. It is interesting to note that cash remains the most frequently used consumer payment option. Based on the Fed study last carried out in 2012, cash was used in almost 1/3 of all transactions.

Cash Doesn’t Lose Its Popularity

Wendy Matheny, a co-author of the study and a manager at the Fed’s Cash Product Office in San Francisco notes that even though Silicon Valley says cash is no longer popular, in fact, consumers still use it. However, the other payment options are showing signs to become more popular than cash.

Merchants looking for safe and secure payment processing should consider applying to emerchantbroker.com. EMB is the top high risk payment processor in the US and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). EMB is rated A by Card Payment Options and is one of Inc 500’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2016. EMB offers the best chargeback protection and prevention programs in the industry.

Other Payment Options

The 2015 Fed study showed consumers preferred using cash 32% of the time. In 2012, consumers preferred cash more frequently (40%). This is conditioned by that fact that debit, credit, and electronic payments have become more widespread among consumers.

Debit and credit card payments together made up 48% of all transactions in 2015, which is up 6% since 2012. Electronic payments became more popular as well, growing from 7% in 2012 to 11% in 2015.

The study found out that cash was used more for purchases with small value. Electronic payments were used less often but for purchases with larger value and for bill payments as well. On the other hand, though online apps like PayPal and Venmo have grown in popularity, cash has grown 8% since 2012 with regard to gifts and transfer payments.

It’s worth mentioning that younger groups are keen on adopting new technology. Those aged 18-24 tend to use cash more often (38%) as compared to other age groups

Shaun O’Brien, a co-author of the study and a senior policy analyst at the San Francisco Fed’s Cash Product Office believes one of the reasons why cash is still popular is that it works well.


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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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