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More Americans Favor a Cashless Society

Three out of four Americans (73 percent) say they use less cash today than 10 years ago. Credit: Digital dollar sign image via Shutterstock

You may not have to worry much longer about money burning a hole in your pocket.  We may be heading for a cashless society, a new survey suggests. We're already using less cash today than we did 10 years ago.

Three out of four Americans (73 percent) say they use less cash today than 10 years ago, according to a MasterCard poll of more than 1,000 adults about their views and attitudes toward the increasing use of electronic payments.

Members of Gen X (ages 30-39) appear to be leading the charge, the survey found. A generation that came of age during the advent of electronic banking and online shopping and that is now in the midst of the mobile wallet revolution, they're most in favor of a world where they pay for everything electronically and don't having to carry cash (61 percent).

[Cash-Only Businesses Risk Alienating Customers]

But baby boomers are not far behind, the survey found; a significant portion (44 percent) of this cohort age 55 and over also favors a cashless society.

Most Americans have experienced frustration when dealing with cash, the survey found. The most vexing aspects of dealing with cash, according to the survey respondents, were trying to get a vending machine to accept a crumpled bill (63 percent), waiting days for a check to clear (40 percent), waiting for people to find exact change (40 percent) and finding time to get to an ATM (29 percent).

"Commerce has changed dramatically over the past decade, thanks to the Internet and e-commerce, and this survey underscores that Americans are already shifting towards a cashless society," said Carlos Menendez, group executive of global debit at MasterCard Worldwide. "It’s clear that people want better ways to pay, and we’re inventing them at MasterCard. As a technology company that’s a key player in the payments industry, we’re constantly coming up with new innovations — like mobile and contactless payments — that, simply put, are designed to make life easier."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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