Have you ever stopped to think: “Is There Such a Thing as Having Too Much Cash?” Being new to MasterCard my first reaction was an obvious No. But then as I delved into the findings of this provocative piece of new research by MasterCard Advisors, it’s intriguing insights stopped me in my tracks – who knew that using too much cash could get one on the naughty list…
According to the data, cash usage tracks closely to levels of corruption and ease of doing business, with high cash usage corresponding to large informal economies. For example, did you know, globally, $8.3 trillion of consumer purchases annually are made outside the formal economy, with $1.5 trillion being illegal. So, while cash usage doesn’t cause bad behavior, by providing anonymity cash certainly enables it.
Most interesting were the strategies innovative countries are developing to move their citizens away from cash usage – in particular Korea, Mexico, Kenya and Argentina. And let’s be clear – while most developing countries rely heavily on cash usage, developed countries such as the US, Germany and Japan still have high cash usage.
So now that I am rethinking my own cash-management strategy, will I be a convert? Am I ready to become cashless? One thing is clear, I’m more conscious now of how, when and why I use cash and with the holiday season upon us, I suggest folks do their best to stay on the nice list this year and be good for goodness sake.