This publication offers key insights and observations into the Federal Reserve System's cash practices, policies, and strategic direction.
The 2022 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect the way U.S. consumers use and hold cash. The share of payments made in cash dropped sharply from 2019 to 2020 and then increased slightly in 2021, implying that cash use hit its lowest point in the first pandemic year. In contrast to cash use, consumers’ cash holdings remained elevated in 2021 when compared to 2019 and prior years, indicating that consumers continued to demand cash in the uncertain environment of the pandemic’s second year. These are some of the prominent findings from the most recent consumer survey conducted by Federal Reserve Financial Services.
Consumers continue to hold more store of value cash in their home, car, or elsewhere than compared to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, consistent with the findings in the April and August 2020 supplemental surveys, fewer consumers are making in-person payments compared to pre-pandemic levels. The share of individuals making in-person payments and using cash in April 2021 declined slightly to about 60 percent, down 15 percentage points from August 2020. These are some of the prominent findings from the most recent consumer survey conducted by the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office (CPO) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Consumers made fewer payments, specifically fewer small-value payments in 2020 compared to 2019. Additionally, while in-person payment dropped by 19% compared to the 2019 Diary, total spending for not-in-person, non-bill payments increased substantially at grocery stores, dining establishments, and general merchandise locations. The total value of not-in-person spending also doubled in 2020. These are some of the prominent findings from the most recent consumer survey conducted by the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office (CPO) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
A majority of consumers continued to increase the amount of cash they are carrying and/or storing, while nearly 80% of respondents who made in-person purchases did not indicate that they were avoiding or averse to using cash during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are two prominent findings from the most recent consumer survey conducted by the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office (CPO) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
In the 2020 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, data from October 2019 show that consumers used cash for 26 percent of all payments, and that it is used for nearly 47 percent of payments under $10. To gain an understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting consumers’ payment choices, the Federal Reserve conducted a supplemental Diary survey from April to May 2020, which provides initial insight into how payment behavior is evolving in the midst of the crisis.
In its sixth iteration, the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice data show that consumers used cash for 26 percent of all payments, and that it is used for nearly 47 percent of payments under $10.
Cashless coffee shops, restaurants, and convenience stores have popped up across the country. It is not illegal to refuse cash as a form of payment in most states and cities in the U.S., and going cashless helps these businesses eliminate the costs of handling and transporting cash. But do these savings come at the cost of financial inclusion? This paper explores the impacts of businesses going cashless.
In its fifth iteration, the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice data show that cash continues to be used extensively for small-value purchases – representing nearly half of all payments under $10 and 42 percent of payments less than $25. However, consumers’ use of other payment options, including debit and credit cards, is growing.
This paper explores how often U.S. consumers spent and held cash during the 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice survey. Data from 2017 show that cash continues to be the most frequently used payment instrument, representing 30 percent of all transactions and 55 percent of transactions under $10.
Data from the Federal Reserve’s Diary of Consumer Payment Choice shows that cash remains the most used payment instrument in 2016 accounting for 31 percent of all consumer transactions. This study provides a unique view into consumer shopping and payment decisions, including their use of cash.