Payment technologies target cash
Despite the ubiquity of plastic payment options, consumers still use cash and coin to pay for plenty of goods and services, particularly when small dollar amounts are involved. And much of that cash and coin passes through bank accounts at some point or another.
That could change as new payment technologies, like smartphone wallets and virtual currencies, make a run at displacing the cash and coin, says George Peabody, senior director at Glenbrook Partners, a payments research and consulting firm in Menlo Park, Calif.
"In the past, electronic methods to send money were either very slow or awkward to use, so as that process speeds up so that someone receives the money within 24 hours, that's an improvement. It's easy to do and it's on your mobile phone," he says. "That mobile payment is a way of driving more cash out of the economy."
Banks offer some of these technologies, but many other nonbank companies also do it. That could mean some stiff competition in cash-replacement, technology-based services.