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Published on March 29th, 2018 | by Day Trader

Is the United States Headed Toward a Cashless Society?

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The banking industry has undergone quite a few changes over the past several decades. So, too, has the manner in which Americans conduct their banking. Where Americans in general used to predominantly pay for products and services with personal or business checks, they are now using debit and credit cards with greater frequency.

Credit and Debit Card Usage

There are a variety of reports regarding the specific bank that can be credited with offering the first real debit card. Experts believe, however, that it was available from the Bank of Delaware as early as1966. According to recent Federal Reserve data, a large percentage of the United States population owns at least one credit card. This amounts to 174 million people, or 70% of the consumer population.

Even though a large percentage of consumers own one or more credit card, debit card usage is significant. The 2016 Federal Reserve Payment Study found that debit card payments increased substantially between 2012 and 2015. Payments made using debit cards increased from $2.1 trillion to $2.56 trillion during that time period. In 2015 alone, there were over 69.5 billion transactions using debit cards.

Many Americans believe that the United States may become a cashless society. A July 2016 Gallup survey found that over six out of ten Americans agreed that this will be the case. This is primarily due to the increase in credit and debit card usage along with other types of electronic transactions.

The United States Banking System

Currently, most of the banks within the United States are community banks. These banks account for 99.5% of all banks throughout the country. In over 600 counties, however, these banks provide the only physical locations where people can conduct their banking.

The Independent Community Bankers of America released data showing that community bank assets amount to over $4.9 trillion. The data also revealed that these banks have made consumer, small business, and agricultural industry loans that total $3.3 trillion. The overall United States banking system, however, had assets that totaled $16.8 trillion in December 2016.

Learn More About Your Banking Options

Whether you want to apply for a checking account or are interested in a new mobile banking account, there are a number of plans from which to choose. While you may still like to have a bit of cash on hand, using online banking services has become even more convenient. If you’re not sure if you want to apply for a checking account for personal use or to apply for a checking account for your business, you can learn more about the options available when you speak with a customer service representative.

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