7 Totally Random Payment Facts to Know Right Now

Which payment methods are people using? How much cash do folks keep on hand? Which U.S. currency denomination has the shortest lifespan? Here’s some payment trivia from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office you might not know.

  1. There are more $100 notes in circulation than $1 notes (14.3 billion and 12.7 billion respectively, at the end of 2019).
  2. $5 notes have the shortest lifespan of all denominations at 4.7 years.
  3. Half of the U.S. banknotes in circulation—which add up to $1.76 trillion—are held overseas (February 2020).
  4. Mobile spending accounts for 8.2% of transactions. This is up nearly 3 percentage points since 2016.
  5. A consumer holds $60 cash on average.
  6. Cash is used most frequently for in-person payments.
  7. Debit cards are used most frequently for payments overall.

Now that you’re up on the latest, see if you can get a perfect score on our newly updated quiz, Facts and Myths About Cash: Test Your Knowledge.

Good luck!

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The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.