Has cash finally been replaced?

Is the use of cash on its way out?

There have been several major shifts in the payment industry over the last decade. The use of plastic has increased, eCommerce has grown dramatically and mobile devices have started to gain a serious foothold. Through all this, cash has remained a solid option.

However, a new study from Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project has found that the use of cash could be on its last legs. According to respondents, 2020 could be the final year for paper money.

The report found that 65 percent of technology experts and stakeholders believe confidence will grow among consumers and they will fully embrace smart-device swiping for purchases, doing away with cash. This seems inevitable as the use of mobile devices continues to grow and the convenience, security and other affordances of mobile payment systems makes it easier to justify investing in these solutions.

Despite this, there is some debate about how long this adoption process will linger and replace the legacy systems that have been in place for decades.

"In elaborating on their predictions, a number of respondents indicated that they expect this process to develop generationally, with younger users jumping to abandon cash and credit cards while their parents and grandparents may make the move to mobile payments slowly, if at all," the report reads.

There is more than just eCommerce and smart-devices that threaten the future of cash. Direct deposit paycards are offering employers a different way to pay employees and chip card technology will soon be making plastic and mobile devices a faster and more secure option.