We can now buy anything we want online, from the clothes on our back, food in our fridge and even the device you’re reading this on now. Even when we physically go to the store, we prefer to use or credit or debit cards. Can you even remember the last time you actually held a dollar in your hand? Or a more important question: Are the dollar’s days numbered, or all physical currency for that matter?
In 2012, already 32% of all retail spending worldwide was card-based. What’s the problem with using cash? 40% of Americans have complained about waiting on another person at the register to find exact change, and waiting for a check to clear. And 63% of us have had issues with crumpled bills at a vending machine. Plus 94% of bills carry bacteria, yet 1 in 2 Americans don’t wash their hands after handling paper money.
So are people ready to ditch the dollar? Well, 61% of Generation Xers would favor a cashless world, and 44% of Baby Boomers would too. In fact, 90% of consumers would prefer some type of cashless payment option, while 75% do prefer cards specifically over cash. Even the Fed has been producing less money over time, replacing less than half of the bills it used to in 2010 compared to 1989.
Using digital currency is not without its problems, though, as many people are concerned about credit card fraud and protecting their assets online. 9 million Americans are victim to identity theft each year. A few ways to keep your accounts more secure is to use strong passwords and pin numbers, and change them often, and keep an eye on your statements and credit report.
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