A Cashless Society: Closer Than We Think

In the past decade, consumers have abandoned cash in favor of digital alternatives. With more cashless consumers transitioning to mobile devices to make purchases, it’s clear this trend shows no signs of slowing, especially as we have already discovered during this holiday season. Consumers are constantly looking for easier ways to make payments. Convenience is a major part of any transaction, so organizations who offer multiple methods of payments are more likely to convert on sales this holiday season.

 The shift to a cashless society is imminent, and we have the mobile generation of millennials and Gen Z’s dubbed as those ‘transforming the way we bank’ to thank for that. Members of the Generation Z (those born roughly between 1996 and 2010) have never known life without technology—they live through their mobile devices, and they’re a fast-growing consumer segment. In fact, within the next four years, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers, and their expectations for fast, seamless and secure payment experiences will be higher than ever.

 This rising consumer base is changing the ways companies are designing their sales model. Consumers are using mobile devices more than ever before, evidenced by the fact that the United States has a smartphone penetration of 82%. Mobile friendly payment options must be offered to capitalize on a growing sales opportunity.

Beyond the shift of mobile-first banking experiences, we are even seeing charities changing their approach to collecting donations. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, for example, is a long-time holiday goodwill that has taken a hit in recent years due to our shift to a cashless society. The truth is, consumers are not giving less, but rather are not as likely to carry spare change and loose bills to donate. In response to this shift, the charity kicked off the holiday season by offering digital payments through QR codes, allowing consumers to donate with their smartphones.

This shift to fit the payments needs of a changing consume base is the same mindset that retailers should look to adopt. Consumers are seeking more forward-thinking ways to pay. For e-commerce, this means offering more than just credit card payments.

While the use of credit cards, debit cards and other digital payment systems are currently most popular in the U.S., only 41 percent of online credit card transactions are made worldwide, proving there are many more alternatives to pay in the global landscape. For example, recent PPRO research indicates  23% of payments made in the United States are by e-wallets and as the digital payments industry grows, widely used alternative payment methods like e-wallets and bank transfers will become even more well-known.

 At the change in pace with mobile payment adoption, it’s apparent that ‘cashless’ will soon be king. Having a mobile-first solution – from charities and online retailers alike – will be even more high-priority in 2019.



By Steve Villegas, VP of Partner Management at PPRO A Sales, Marketing and Business Development Executive with over 20 years of experience building and managing sales, partner development and marketing teams which have delivered profitable results, built market share, and exceeded revenue goals while outperforming competition. A natural communicator and team leader with strong motivational skills, with the ability to build, produce and succeed.

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