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JD Power Pulse survey reveals consumers still favor cash access

Despite a growing trend toward cashless payments, a J.D. Power Pulse survey shows consumers still want flexibility, as 78% of consumers still believe restaurants and retailers should be required to accept cash. 

The study cites concerns over privacy and security, as well as maintaining access for the unbanked and underbanked, as reasons for cash access. In a bit of a surprise, the study shows support for cash access transcending age barriers, as 85% of consumers above ages 60 and 72% of those aged 18-29 feel that cash acceptance should be required. 

"First, consumers want choice," Jim Miller, who authored the survey for J.D. Power, told Mobile Payments Today via email. "They want to decide how to pay for purchases and not have it forced on them."

He also noted there are locations where cards and mobile payments are not accepted, and said 40% of consumers carry cash to pay tips and 30% carry cash to use in stores where cards are not accepted. 

Overall 82% of consumers typically carry cash, including 78% of 18 to 29-year-olds. The study showed 67% of those surveyed used cash to make a purchase over the past week, while 61% used a debit card, 54% used a credit card and only 20% use a mobile phone or smart watch to make a purchase. 

The study showed 60% carried cash in case they needed it for an emergency, while 50% wanted to have cash on hand for small purchases. 

Cover image: iStock