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Taking Advantage of Cash Use in the United States

March 30, 2017

Despite the multitude of surveys reporting a growing preference for credit, debit and mobile payments, a recent Diary of Consumer Payment Choice report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco tells a different story. When actual transactions are faithfully documented, cash remains a primary preferred payment choice. Not only do U.S. consumers still utilize currency, cash was one of the top two payment choices across a wide range of spending categories.


Why does cash linger?

It seems inevitable that, with so many new, more convenient payment choices available, cash would be on its way out. But the truth is these other payment forms are not as “convenient” as the hype would have us believe. Credit card companies charge merchants a percentage of each transaction. Mobile wallet options such as ApplePay and digital options like PayPal are no different. Each platforms add additional fee. And merchants have had to raise the prices to consumers in order to make up for the lost revenue. It is largely due to these additional fees that there still exist cash-only businesses. In states that allow it, some businesses have implemented discounts for cash payments and many refuse non-cash payments for purchases below certain amounts.


In addition to added expense, new financial technologies are creating more legislation, regulation and compliance mandates. Their basis in digital processing make them more vulnerable to hacking – putting consumers and merchants at greater risk. This risk has caused government and card networks to implement regular software and equipment upgrades, back-end changes and other updates to increase security. Despite all of this, the systems often seem to be reacting to criminal activity rather than preventing it – as proven by continued data breaches and identity theft reports.


Amidst all the hoopla of security concern, cash maintains its stranglehold on the image of safety. As such, currency continues to remain a highly valued and useful payment choice.


Taking advantage of cash

Due to the continued hype of non-cash payments, many establishments undervalue the usefulness of providing cash access to consumers. However, the ability to access cash safely and conveniently has become a valued commodity – driving consumer decisions in banking, travel, residence and employment.


ATMs are no longer just for financial institutions and retailers. Hotels, businesses, transportation and residential establishments can also benefit from providing the additional convenience these machines provide.

  • Employees report on-site bank account and cash access as a helpful benefit

  • Travelers rely heavily on cash and often select hotel venues that provide this service

  • Residential buildings that provide on-site cash and account access increase the safety and satisfaction of their residents

Find out more about how your business or location can benefit from ATMs and consumer reliance on cash. Contact BFC Enterprises today.

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