Is Cash Still King?

COVID-19 continues to impact business across the country, some have been looking at cashless options for monetary transactions like electronic payments and credit card payments. That has financial experts saying we are taking steps toward going cashless as a society. It also has small business owners asking "Is cash still king?"

"Is physical cash king?" said Jonathan Slocum, a senior financial analyst and Sym Financial Analysts. "I would say 'No, it's not.' I don't have cash here. I have a credit card. I have ways to make payments. If I go through a toll booth, I'm using an I-Pass."

Slocum said that while cashless options are becoming more popular, having cash is still important.

"When you hand that 20-dollar bill over, and you say 'here's my money,' you can actually feel that exchange," Slocum said. "You can feel the pain of the money leaving. From a financial planning perspective, I think people swiping the card or Venmoing or Paypaling, they're really not seeing that go. So, yeah, cash is still king. It's still good to have a nice cash reserve."

Slocum said the transition to going cashless has been in the works for years, but the Coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the idea.

Cashless would have an impact on local charity drives a fundraisers like the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign, but organizers said they've been working on adjusting their donation options since well before the pandemic hit.

"The Red Kettle Season of 2019, we implemented contactless pay options for people." said Wanda Dudley, the Public Relations coordinator for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center.

Those contactless pay options include simply donating on the Salvation Army's website or scanning a barcode with a smart phone at red kettle stations that takes you directly to the donation page on the website. Small business owners are also making adjustments, but some like Equine Veterinarian Services Owner Dr. Brian Biggers, said they cannot go completely cashless right now.

"A lot of our practice now is cashless," Biggers said. "We have a lot more people just paying with debit cards and credit cards as it is right now, but right now, we can't go completely cashless because we do have a large part of our clientele that deals with only cash, for example, sometimes the Amish."

Biggers said he has already been working on ways to accept cashless payment.

"If we're still taking checks, and if we consider that cashless, then we would still do that," Biggers said. "We have means of taking credit cards and credit card information, and either read it with a card reader or put it into our cell phone, and then make note of that, and it goes straight to the bank."

Biggers said the biggest change going cashless would be for him would simply be no more going to the bank to make donations, but just how close are we to being a cashless society?

"We can see all of the new technology that's here," Slocum said. "You've got bitcoins. You've got PayPals. You've got all these different things on your phone, Apple Pays where you can say ' hey here's money,' 'PayPal me money,' 'Venmo me money,' 'Send me money from this.' So, I think we're definitely going that route and it's just a matter of time before we eventually get there, but I think it's a long way's away."

Slocum also said another contributing factor to the growing number of cashless payment options is younger generations no longer carrying cash and instead relying on the apps and credit cards.

COVID-19 continues to impact business across the country, some have been looking at cashless options for monetary transactions like electronic payments and credit card payments. That has financial experts saying we are taking steps toward going cashless as a society. It also has small business owners asking "Is cash still king?"

"Is physical cash king?" said Jonathan Slocum, a senior financial analyst and Sym Financial Analysts. "I would say 'No, it's not.' I don't have cash here. I have a credit card. I have ways to make payments. If I go through a toll booth, I'm using an I-Pass."

Slocum said that while cashless options are becoming more popular, having cash is still important.

"When you hand that 20-dollar bill over, and you say 'here's my money,' you can actually feel that exchange," Slocum said. "You can feel the pain of the money leaving. From a financial planning perspective, I think people swiping the card or Venmoing or Paypaling, they're really not seeing that go. So, yeah, cash is still king. It's still good to have a nice cash reserve."

Slocum said the transition to going cashless has been in the works for years, but the Coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the idea.

Cashless would have an impact on local charity drives a fundraisers like the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign, but organizers said they've been working on adjusting their donation options since well before the pandemic hit.

"The Red Kettle Season of 2019, we implemented contactless pay options for people." said Wanda Dudley, the Public Relations coordinator for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center.

Those contactless pay options include simply donating on the Salvation Army's website or scanning a barcode with a smart phone at red kettle stations that takes you directly to the donation page on the website. Small business owners are also making adjustments, but some like Equine Veterinarian Services Owner Dr. Brian Biggers, said they cannot go completely cashless right now.

"A lot of our practice now is cashless," Biggers said. "We have a lot more people just paying with debit cards and credit cards as it is right now, but right now, we can't go completely cashless because we do have a large part of our clientele that deals with only cash, for example, sometimes the Amish."

Biggers said he has already been working on ways to accept cashless payment.

"If we're still taking checks, and if we consider that cashless, then we would still do that," Biggers said. "We have means of taking credit cards and credit card information, and either read it with a card reader or put it into our cell phone, and then make note of that, and it goes straight to the bank."

Biggers said the biggest change going cashless would be for him would simply be no more going to the bank to make donations, but just how close are we to being a cashless society?

"We can see all of the new technology that's here," Slocum said. "You've got bitcoins. You've got PayPals. You've got all these different things on your phone, Apple Pays where you can say ' hey here's money,' 'PayPal me money,' 'Venmo me money,' 'Send me money from this.' So, I think we're definitely going that route and it's just a matter of time before we eventually get there, but I think it's a long way's away."

Slocum also said another contributing factor to the growing number of cashless payment options is younger generations no longer carrying cash and instead relying on the apps and credit cards.

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