Convenience Drives Non-Cash Users to Pay With Card

card payments, debit card, credit card

For consumers no longer carrying wallets full of cash, ease and convenience are top of mind, PYMNTS Intelligence reveals.

By the Numbers

cash, card payments

The June 2023 PYMNTS Intelligence study “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers, Cash and the Inflationary Economy” drew from a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers to better understand their perceptions of spending and payment preferences.

The study found that the share of consumers carrying cash is on the decline, at 81% as of April 2023, down from 84% in August 2020 and 94% in July 2018.

Among the 19% of consumers in the U.S. no longer regularly carrying cash, the most common reason for leaving the hard currency at home is that other payment methods are easier or more convenient to use, with the majority (51%) citing this as an important reason.

These consumers tend to pay with cards instead, with 81% using debit cards and 58% using credit cards. The findings reflect a broader shift toward digital payment methods that offer more streamlined and efficient transactions.

The Data in Context

Indeed, convenient payments are a key area of innovation.

“Payments is experiencing kind of a second renaissance, if you will, with the rise of alternative payment options such as buy now, pay later, wallets, and bank payments. … Businesses are spending a huge amount of time and money on UX [user experience] improvement, figuring out how they can improve the customer experience,” Andrew Gleiser, CRO at FinTech platform Aeropay, told PYMNTS in an August interview. 

Most merchants want to know what their peers are doing that’s different, that may be making an impact in terms of competitive positioning, Nuvei Chief Revenue Officer Laura Miller told PYMNTS in a conversation around the same time.

“Payments are changing at an incredibly fast pace, and the experience for the end customer has become paramount,” Miller said.