For the longest time, cash has been synonymous with money. Its tangible nature evokes security, much like what precious metals such gold represent in times of instability and uncertainty.
Although cash remains relevant, there is no denying it’s slowly losing its appeal. According to the Carsurance infographic, transactions worth $780 billion took place through mobile means in 2017 alone.
Clearly, average consumers are becoming more comfortable paying through mobile wallets for a variety of reasons.
The first is convenience. There was a time when “online shopping” was a buzzword, but the modifier “online” is now gone from the general lexicon with the massive popularity of marketplaces like Amazon.
But fintech innovations have enabled ordinary people to buy products and pay for services at brick-and-mortar stores without needing to run to the ATM. Now, anyone with a widely accepted mobile wallet could make in-store payments with participating merchants.
Safety is another reason. Compared to credit cards, mobile wallets make identity theft more challenging due to the advanced security features of electronics.
Sure, mobile wallets are not immune to cyber attacks, but more and more people feel safer leaving their homes with just their phones, instead of walking down the street with pockets full of cash.
The fintech sector has provided the impetus for developing several exciting technologies like AI-driven bank representatives and virtual financial advisors, but the ease of mobile payments has gotten the public fully on board for digitalization.
Nearly 43% of fintech adopters love mobile payments and fund transfers, much more than online lending, investment management, and insurance shopping.
Initially, people were able to conduct mobile payments only with fintech firms. The shift in consumer interest forced traditional banks to innovate or risk losing significant revenue to new, aggressive tech companies.
Now that we went mobile, there is no turning back. Does this suggest that cash will eventually become utterly meaningless like fiat currencies? Maybe but not in the foreseeable future. It might take generations before governments stop printing money for good.
For the time being, let us treasure the remaining days of cash until the next chapter in the history of financial services is written. Speaking of history, check out the infographic below to learn about the evolution of fintech over the last 100 years.