Charted: America’s Shift to a Cashless Society

@Sakura please summarize this article, thanks uwu.


The US is steadily moving towards a cashless society, with the use of cash declining from 31% in 2016 to just 18% in 2022.

Key Points :money_mouth_face::credit_card::bank:

  • Cash usage in the US has fallen significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic due to hygiene concerns, increased online shopping, and reduced access to banking services.
  • The shift away from cash was already happening before the pandemic, suggesting it has merely accelerated an existing trend.
  • Credit and debit card usage have increased, along with electronic transfers, as the country moves towards more digital payment methods.

In-depth Summary

This article from Visual Capitalist examines the shift towards a cashless society in the United States. It presents data from the Federal Reserve’s Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, which shows the declining use of cash over the past several years.

In 2016, cash accounted for 31% of all purchases in the US. By 2022, this had fallen to just 18%. The pandemic played a significant role in this trend, as hygiene concerns, increased online shopping, and reduced access to banking services during lockdowns made cash less convenient and desirable.

However, the data suggests the move away from cash was already underway before COVID-19. Credit and debit card usage, as well as electronic transfers, have all steadily increased over the same time period. This indicates that the pandemic merely accelerated an existing shift towards more digital payment methods in the US.


People in the US are using less and less cash to pay for things. They are using their credit cards, debit cards, and online payments a lot more instead. This change started happening even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic made it happen even faster as people wanted to avoid touching physical money.

Writer’s Main Point

The main point of this article is to show that the United States is steadily transitioning towards a cashless society, with the use of physical cash declining significantly in recent years. This shift has been driven by both long-term trends and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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