For most intents and purposes, credit cards are superior to carrying cash. They are more compact and secure and can enable payments over the Internet. The situation for vendors is somewhat different, but credit card readers are becoming increasingly widespread. Nevertheless, many people prefer to use cash instead of cards due to a variety of reasons. This essay explores the advantages and disadvantages of each payment method.
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One advantage of cash for the consumer is the increased clarity and awareness. A person sees the amount of money he or she has available and cannot exceed it. According to Wakamori and Welte (2017), people prefer using cash for small transactions. Furthermore, one can reasonably expect it to be accepted anywhere within a country. These traits of reliability and the sense of control lend traditional money significant popularity.
Nevertheless, both debit and credit cards are prevalent at the moment. Wakamori and Welte (2017) note that over two-thirds of the people in their survey use them exclusively or alongside cash. The international viability of most types of cards appeals to travelers, though there may be fees associated with such uses. Another advantage is those card transactions are the same regardless of the amount, making them convenient for large purchases. Overall, modern technology has considerable benefits and is essential to current operations.
From the standpoint of a vendor, cash is usually easier to accept. It does not require any particular technology and can be done anywhere. This tendency is reflected in Wakamori and Welte’s (2017) research, which shows almost two-thirds of sellers only accepting cash. However, the situation reverses with online merchants, who frequently do not, or cannot, take cash. As such, both payment methods have found their niche among vendors.
Despite the benefits offered by credit cards, cash remains a popular choice for both consumers and vendors. It is more convenient for small and quick transfers, and many sellers do not support credit cards. However, the benefits of using credit cards have ensured their place in many transactions and business models. Most online vendors would be unable to function without digitalized payment methods. As such, both approaches have a place in the current economy and are unlikely to displace each other entirely.
Wakamori, N., & Welte, A. (2017). Why do shoppers use cash? Evidence from shopping diary data. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 49(1), 115-169.