THINK Week in Review: The “Cash” Edition

Even as credit and debit cards become more popular and new payment methods like mobile wallets enter the scene, the world’s largest economy still relies on cash more than any other payment method.

According to the PYMNTS.com Global Cash Index™ United States Analysis, while there may be a recent onslaught of payment cards, digital wallets and contactless payments, nothing has come close to replacing cash in the U.S. Cash usage has remained relatively steady in the states since 2003, ranging between 14.3 percent and 15.5 percent of the gross domestic product. 

But, while cash continues to be the most used payment method in the U.S., its relative importance is decreasing, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Payment Choice. Cash usage fell from representing 40 percent of transactions in 2012 to 32 percent in 2015, the study found.

Payments are a-changin’ but cash still rules. “Retail payment systems continue to become faster and more convenient. Yet, despite increased use of electronic payments around the world, there is scant evidence of a shift away from cash. As the appetite for cash remains unabated, few societies are close to “cashless” or even “less cash”. In fact, demand for cash has risen in most advanced economies since the start of the Great Financial Crisis. This resurgence appears to be driven by store-of-value motives (reflecting lower opportunity cost of holding cash) rather than by payment needs.”

Microsoft, yes, Microsoft releases an interesting White Paper: The future banking ecosystem. No new ground was broken but some of the visualizations and conclusions are worth your time. (Download Link)

“Digital Transformation is not about writing a better application; it is about fundamentally rewriting your company.”

John Maeda releases the yearly “Design in Tech Report 2018”. “Silicon Valley design guru John Maeda distinguishes between three categories: “classical” designers, who create physical objects or products; “commercial” designers who innovate by seeking deep insights into how customers interact with products and services; and “computational” designers, who use programming skills and data to satisfy millions or even billions of users instantaneously.”

5 ways Fintech firms help banks and credit unions. “The real goal for banks and credit unions is to find the right mix of fintech solutions and traditional banking. Play to the tried and true strengths of each type of organization while also opening up to new opportunities to access tools that will empower consumers and reinvigorate marketing opportunities.

So, the next time you read a hand-wringing article about how fintech is going to make retention and acquisition more difficult, or cross-selling more challenging, keep things in perspective. Just remember that there are number of quality fintech firms out there that can turn your concerns into opportunities …  growing your revenues, building your customer base and helping you succeed for decades to come.”

The not-caring economy. There’s a dark side to the so-called “sharing economy” that means bad news for businesses making shareable items. “Most people don’t care about banks per se: they care about having a safe place to store their money and being able to get a credit card, home loan, and the like. The fact that historically, banks have had a monopoly on enabling these actions doesn’t predict that banks will continue to have that monopoly.

Why you need an untouchable day every week. “Before I started using Untouchable Days, I treaded water — I wrote articles, I gave speeches. But something was missing. When I implemented Untouchable Days in 2017, magic happened. I wrote a new 50,000 word memoir, wrote and launched a new 60-minute keynote speech, drafted book proposals for my next three books, and completely planned and began recording my new podcast — all while traveling and giving more speeches than I ever had before.

With a year of Untouchable Days under my belt, do I still go through the exercise of scheduling one Untouchable Day every single week?

The honest answer is no.

Now I schedule two."