Cash has been the main transactional medium in countries for the better part of modern day. People got used to keeping cash and taking out the right amount when paying for things they buy, but the people that did not take out the right amount in line usually took more time to look for the right amount and right amount of coins. While this was the main inefficiency in cash, it is still a lot more convenient to use in smaller stores.
With debit and credit cards, it does seem like it should have a quicker average time per transaction as people simply have to swipe and enter their pin if they need to. This is not the case as a bank’s study revealed that the average cash transaction only takes 22 seconds but debit card payments are 7 seconds slower and 16 seconds slower for credit transactions. It is still touted by Mastercard and Visa that cards are the fast, modern way to pay, but cash is still faster in terms of average transaction speed.
The fees associated with cards are also higher than cash. Merchants have fees to pay when they accept card, and in comparison to cash, it costs a merchant 24 cents for cash transactions, but 33 cents for card transactions. Accepting cash only is an obvious benefit for merchants, and even for efficient customers that want to be in and out of places.
Contactless and mobile payments are decreasing the average time of card transactions, but until then, cash is still better in many aspects.