Mastercard recently conducted a survey on what percentage of our transactions are still conducted in cash.
85% of the Worlds transactions still use cash, but it is beginning to seem like a less efficient method of doing business, compared to the quick and easy methods of online and card payments. Aswell as the more obvious downfalls of physical money, such as having to find an ATM, not being able to purchase items online and the possibility of losing it, there are also health issues. Bacteria, including eColi, are on 94% of US bills, according to Southern Medical Journal. One study reported in Science News even said that there are 20 bugs hosted on the cleanest US dollars and 25,000 on the dirtiest. Finally, and most importantly, cash does nothing to help those left out of the financial mainstream. There are more than 1 billion mobile phone users who lack bank accounts. Electronic payments using mobile phones act as a vital bridge for financial inclusion for these people.
You can vote on the Mastercard poll here newsroom.mastercard.com/2012/04/20/do-you-know-what-cash-costs and have a look at the infographic below.