In recent years we have seen a major shift in consumer spending habits, catching the attention of many businesses, with many taking practical steps to embrace the unexpected shift. We are indeed observing the increasing desire among consumers to move away from cash purchases, seeing many individuals opting instead to pay using alternative, and more modern options.
Possible reasons for this change in trend include the following:
· Cash is not suitable for big purchases and many want to avoid expensive loans.
· Being tangible makes it more at risk of becoming damaged or lost.
· Paying with cash is very final, leaving little or no room to make a complaint or cancel the transaction should any problems arise.
· Cash is more susceptible to theft as there are no ways to formally identify the owner of the money should it be reported missing.
It is evident that consumers are clearly losing confidence in cash, and therefore a number of solutions have emerged; some are now well established, others up-and-coming. These include:
· PayPal: The popular company is already recognised as a secure method to make payments online but they have recently announced their desire to take the idea further by incorporating cutting-edge fingerprint technology into their system, meaning you and only you could authorise spending on your accounts, making identity fraud and theft much more difficult.
· Plastic bank notes: These can last 2.5 times longer than the current paper notes in general circulation. They are easier to clean, making them more hygienic and with much greater levels of durability, even to the point of surviving a cycle in a washing machine. A few countries in Europe are already utilising such notes and 2015 is currently slated to see the arrival of them into mainstream spending in Britain.
· Credit cards: These have long been a popular spending option and providers like American Express who have made moves to give consumers the incentives they want to opt for them. Cash back, gifts and reward schemes go hand-in-hand with the guaranteed purchase protection to make buying with plastic the way of the future.
As trends show its clear that paper is being left in the shade as plastic and innovative technology are pushing boundaries and upping the ante when it comes to convenience and safety. In a time when people lead busy lives and we see more and more reports about stolen information, hacked accounts and fraudulent spending seem to emerge day by day, this is exactly what consumers want and thankfully, it seems this is exactly what they can expect to get.