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What eCash growth means for businesses as more consumers use cash online

eCash allows customers to take control of spending and manage online security concerns. Here’s what businesses need to know about cash online.

More and more consumers are using cash online – an alternative payment method (APM) that marries physical currency with the new digital world. eCash allows consumers to generate a barcode and pay offline at a conveniently-located store.

According to our Lost in Transaction 2023 payment trends research report, which surveyed 14,500 consumers in North America, Europe, the UK, and Latin America, eCash is more popular than at any other point since the research series began in 2017. 31% of people who used cash online in the previous year paying with it more often than they did 12 months ago.

So why are more consumers using cash online, and how can businesses embrace this APM to deliver a better payment experience?

Why are more people using cash online?

Overall, eCash is the fifth most popular online payment method for consumers after debit cards, credit cards, digital wallets such as Skrill or NETELLER, and credit cards stored in Apple Pay, Google Pay or a similar mobile wallet. It’s also increasingly important to those who use it -- 23% of those who chose eCash as their preferred payment method would abandon their cart if they can’t pay with it.

But what’s driving this change? The growth in popularity of using cash online is primarily due to the rising cost-of-living and concerns about online security.

As consumers face economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise many turn to cash to help them exercise control on their spending and stick to a budget. After all, you can’t spend £20 if you only have £10 in your pocket.

Now, consumers are taking this money-saving technique online, using eCash to control eCommerce spending just as they use physical cash to do so on the high street.  The impact of economic turmoil cannot be overstated: eCash usage has grown across the board, but the increase has been greatest among respondents who changed payment habits due to the cost-of-living crisis, with 60% using eCash more often.

Online cash is a secure payment option

Security is also a key concern for those opting to use cash online, primarily because eCash payments don't require consumers to share any financial details online -- something 52% of respondents say that they don't feel comfortable doing.

As a result, consumers view eCash as a more secure online payment option, particularly when it comes to online video gaming and iGaming. Almost half (49%) of respondents who pay for online gaming told us cash-based methods are the safest way to make online purchases.

Why businesses should embrace eCash

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for consumer payments, with different needs met by different APMs. With this in mind, businesses should look to work with a payment platform that offers a broad suite of options – and this absolutely includes eCash, which can be essential to helping consumers manage their budgets, while also offering peace of mind around online security.  

To learn more about why a growing number of consumers are using cash online, check out our Lost in Transaction 2023 report.