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Cash Hangs On in Evolving Payments Landscape

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Despite an increasing number of ways to pay for goods and services, consumers still use cash, a survey by Blumberg Capital found. The survey conducted in May by Harris Poll found that almost 60% of American consumers use physical money to make purchases at least once a week.

Emerging point-of-sale and online payments technology, such as ApplePay, PayPal and Venmo, were used less frequently by fewer people. Just 21% of respondents said they use these methods of payment at least once a month.

(Related: OCC Issues Fintech FAQ)

“This survey reveals a huge opportunity for fintech companies to grow and scale as more consumers begin to recognize the benefits of fintech and get comfortable moving beyond cash and checks,” David Blumberg, founder and managing partner of Blumberg Capital, said in a statement.

He added that he believes fintech can “level the playing field across demographic segments,” and that adoption “will only accelerate as bigger banks and financial institutions partner with the early-stage fintech companies to introduce new types of products and services to consumers.”

The survey identified global subsets of consumers who were more comfortable with different fintech services. For example:

  • Consumers in Israel were most comfortable using technology for their banking needs. Half of Israeli respondents said they use a mobile banking app at least once a month, compared with just 38% of U.S. adults, while 27% said they use a mobile wallet, compared with 18% of Americans.
  • Concerns about cybersecurity may slow Americans’ adoption of mobile banking and payment technology. Almost 40% of Americans said they worry about being defrauded when they make financial transactions online.
  • U.S. respondents were least likely to make online purchases from vendors in other countries: 9% compared with 13% of U.K. respondents and 14% of Germans. U.K. consumers are particularly concerned about imports becoming more expensive.

The biggest area of opportunity for fintech firms is in alternative lending and financing, where adoption was low even among the more fintech-adventurous Israeli respondents. Just 7% of Israeli consumers said they have used an alternative financing or lending service in the last 12 months, followed by 6% of Americans and 5% of Germans.

— Read Lawmaker Fears Unfair Fintech Biz Lending Practices on ThinkAdvisor.