While driving through the drive-thru at a fast food joint this week, a thought occurred to me. As I handed over dollar bills to pay for my cheeseburger, I started wondering, “Why do I even carry cash anymore?” Although this may sound like a bizarre question to be asking myself, there is some truth in it. Today’s society is moving more and more towards simplicity, and even though cash is simple, it’s not the simplest form of payment out there anymore. Instead, society is moving towards debit cards, also known as check cards. The reason why is pretty simple, because there are a lot of benefits to carrying a debit card
1) All you have to carry is a single card – Unlike cash where you have to go to ATM’s or banks every once in a while to refill on cash, and unlike credit cards where you have to be approved for a specific limit and then repay the money at a later date anyways, debit cards allow you to pay right then and there and only carry one card to and from places.
2) Online banking has made money management simple – With easy access to the internet available for a large percentage of the population, and debit transactions being processed nearly everyday by each business, people can check how much money they have available easily. Unless you’re a person who carries only cash, chances are you have a savings or checking account in addition to the cash, and thus, you have to keep track of multiple sources of finances to determine how much money you have.
3) Most places accept debit cards – Although some places do not accept specific types of credit cards or checks from out-of-state, nearly every place nowadays will accept debit cards. If you reach your limit with a credit card, you get an error and have to pay in a different way. With a debit card instead, if you overdraw, the penalty comes to you from your bank after-the-fact, creating even more simplicity. Monthly bills often offer a payment plan that withdraws automatically from your checking account, taking away the need for checks. Even most bars nowadays accept debit cards, meaning you can create a tab and not have to worry about carrying enough cash on a specific night.
4) Theft is less of a concern – If you are robbed (which hopefully will never happen), and you’re carrying cash, it’s typically gone for good. However, if you are robbed and carrying debit/credit cards, all you have to do is call your bank/credit card and cancel those cards, telling the authorities that it was stolen. Although identity theft is more prevalent when you’re carrying things other than cash, if you act quickly after realizing your cards are gone, this too can be limited or avoided.
These are just a few of the positives to carrying debit cards over cash, which helps to explain why so many people in today’s society, especially younger generations, are tending to carry an ID and a debit card in their wallet rather than checks or cash.