The Future Of Cash? What Is Your Preferred Payment Mode For Yourself And For Your Business?

by Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 8/15/2019

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What is the future of cash? The debate is intense. There are governmental edicts in some places banning cashless-only stores.

On July 28, CBS Sunday Morning News featured "The Money Issue." One of the segments should be very important for our daily operations. You can read a summary or watch the televised segment ' Sweden is going cashless .' Below the article text are some links to news items about the controversy and negatives relating to the conversion to cashless.

Okay. So Sweden has about 10,000,000 people. That's far fewer than the 329,000,000 people in the United States. Going cashless here will obviously be different from accomplishing that same conversion in Sweden. The complexity and timeline will be dramatically more challenging in the U.S. economy.

What do you think will be the future of cash? Will everyone switch to cashless payments? Will it be debit cards and credit cards? Maybe it will be Google Pay, Apple Pay or one of the other contactless payment apps which are activated through your smartphone or a tablet device.

What about "unbanked" people who do not have access to a credit or debit card? What happens to people who cannot afford the latest smartphones (and compatible technology) to sync up with these new payment apps? There will no doubt be smartphone accessibility challenges for some people. At the moment we are not aware of any ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements for smartphone payment apps to be accessible to people who cannot utilize the full functionality of a smartphone.

As 5G networks roll out across the U.S., we can expect that an increasing number of people will add payment app capabilities on their smartphones. More important will be rapidly expanding activation of contactless payment acceptance at restaurants, retail stores and anywhere else card-based payments are made. That will ultimately include our industry and locations you are serving.

What is your personal experience as a shopper with payment apps? Whether you are using an Apple or android device, do you have a payment app installed? If it is installed, are you using it? How frequently do you use it?

Add my family to the world of payment apps. We were coached and instructed in the process by our children. Over the weekend, we each made our first contactless payments. It was easy -- really easy. And it's far more secure than making a typical card payment -- by inserting the chip or swiping the magnetic strip.

What's the future of cash? That's not for me (or you) to say. But my expectation now is that my use of cash will continue to decline. Cash will represent a decreasing proportion of what we spend.

Get serious about learning more about how to expand the acceptance of cashless payments. That includes contactless payments. This can be another step on the path to selling more stuff.

Paul Schlossberg is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX, area, he can be reached by emailing to, calling him at (972) 877-2972. The company is online at