Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you could not pay via an electronic method, be it credit card or a mobile payment? If you have, you would know it's an annoying, nerve wracking experience to deal with, but it highlights a very important point--cash is still the most reliable payment method.
A member of our team recently found himself in this exact situation. While cradling a large number of light bulbs and other housewares in his arms and rushing to the checkout area in Home Depot, he was greeted by a barrage of signs over every single card payment terminal saying "System is down, CASH ONLY!" When he asked some employees what had happened, all they could tell him was that the credit card payment terminals had crashed hours ago and were still down. The only way out was to pay with cash. But alas, he did not have any. He had to leave all of his items, find an ATM, and come back with cash--a huge inconvenience.
This highlights a sentiment that many consumers share; when it comes to paying for something in a wide variety of stores, you should ALWAYS have cash on you. We are not saying we are against paying with RFID credit cards or chip and pin cards. All we are saying is that you should be prepared--always store some cash in your Flipside Wallet!
Here are 5 great reasons that cash reigns supreme:
1. Cash can't be hacked
Sorry RFID skimmers and malware-infected card terminals--cash is invincible to you. Aside from the occasional X-files conspiracy theories about cash being bugged, there is no personal info at risk of being compromised.
2. Cash is universally accepted, and sometimes mandatory
Whether it is paying for deep fried Oreos at the Iowa State Fair, parking in a cash-only lot, or buying a mojito at a new upscale NYC bar, cash is accepted all the same!
3. Cash can help control impulse buying and going over budget
If you move into a new house with a bunch of big storage closets, chances are you will fill ALL of them up. The same goes for a credit card; some consumers have little to no hesitation in putting more charges on a card than they can handle. Convenient? Yes. Bad habit forming? Yes. With a finite amount of cash in your wallet, you're more likely to be conscious of your spending.
4. Cash is anonymous
Credit cards and mobile payments make it easier to track your purchasing history and habits. But what about situations where you want to pay for something anonymously? For instance, you might pay in cash when you are buying an anniversary gift for your wife and do not want anything on the statements, or when you contribute to a charity organization and you do not want them harassing you afterwards by sending incessant mail to your home address. To keep things private, pay in cash!
5. Cash is great for emergencies and the unexpected
Has your car ever broken down and the tow truck driver with the raspy voice tells you that he only accepts cash? Or what happens if you need to go out and buy baby formula and a harsh thunderstorm has knocked the power out or disabled the card readers in the store? As the popular blog Lifehacker states, "Cash is King in Emergency Situations."
Have a good "cash only" story? Share it in the comments section below!
LifeHacker: "Cash is King in Emergency Situations"
Information Week: "Mobile Payments Won't Replace Cards and Cash Anytime Soon"
Comments will be approved before showing up.