For decades, experts have speculated that the next new payment method, from credit cards to cryptocurrency, would replace cash completely. But even during a global pandemic that saw in-person payments plummet in just a few weeks, cash has remained a reliable, accessible means of payment that consumers trust.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, we have seen some significant changes in how consumers use, save and value cash. As reported by the Federal Reserve in its 2021 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, cash use made up 19 percent of all payments, down seven points from before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they also found that the average value of cash held in a consumer’s pocket, purse or wallet increased to $74, up $20 from 2019.