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What is the current state of online cash?

Access to cash matters, but in an increasingly digital world, physical currency must evolve with the times. So what is the current state of online cash?

As digital payments become increasingly popular among consumers, the swift arrival of a fully cashless society may seem inevitable. The reality, however, is somewhat different.

Yes, it's true that cash payment volumes are decreasing. In a recent Lost in Transaction research, 52% of consumers said they weren't using it as often as they used to. But this doesn't mean consumers are happy for it to disappear from their lives.

While most of us pay with our cards, phones, or digital wallets without thinking twice, there are small but significant consumer segments for whom cash payments are easier, more convenient, or even the only viable option. But how can we ensure these cash-preferring users aren’t left behind as digital payments grow in prevalence?

In our latest whitepaper, The online cash revolution: Why adding eCash to the checkout unlocks more growth, we dive into why cash online is an increasingly important alternative payment method (APM) for consumers around the world. Here are some key takeaways.

Comfort in cash

While there's no stopping digitalization, a cashless society is unlikely to arrive in our lifetime. According to the same Lost in Transaction research, 70% of respondents said they'd worry if they couldn't access cash.

This is no surprise. Cash is a universal payment method anyone can use, regardless of their financial situation. It's also private, has a 100% payment success rate, and isn't susceptible to technological malfunctions. Card payments online, for example, require consumers to enter their financial details – something many don’t feel comfortable with.

Cash can also make it easier to manage spending. While the speed and ease of card and contactless payments encourage impulse purchases, cash gives the consumer time to think twice. It also has a natural spending limit built into it.

But the speed of digitalization means protecting access to physical cash is not enough. Instead, there’s an urgent need for a digital solution: a way to pay online in cash. Our research supports this thinking. In 2022, 47% of respondents told us they think it would be easier if they could pay online in cash.

How online cash works

So, how do we empower cash-reliant consumers to pay online?

It’s simple: take paysafecard, for example. Using this payment method, customers can buy a voucher, in cash, and pay with it online simply by keying in a 16-digit code at the checkout.  

Or, with Paysafecash, they can download a barcode during the payment process, and scan it at one of over 700,000 conveniently-located paypoints to complete the transaction. Since payment is made in cash, offline, the customer doesn't have to share any personal or financial details with the merchant, so the transaction is as secure as it gets.

And, once they've tried online cash, many consumers are reluctant to go back to other payment methods. Our 2023 Lost In Transaction report found that 31% of those who'd used eCash in the past were paying with it more often, while 23% would abandon their cart if it weren't available at the checkout.

At a time when budgets are tighter than ever and margins are razor-thin, it’s never been more important to allow consumers to pay the way they want. By offering them the ability to pay with cash online, businesses can reach a wider audience – delivering the choice, convenience, and security customers crave.

To learn more about how different industries, from retail, to remittances and more, can benefit from online cash, download, The online cash revolution: Why adding eCash to the checkout unlocks more growth.