Physical cash payments feel like ‘free money’ to Gen Z, says study

Among younger generations, cash is becoming a rarer sight.

Digital modes of payment reign in popularity – and new research shows it’s affecting how Gen Z view physical money.

A survey of 2,000 18-24 year olds by revealed that there is a disconnect with cold, hard cash because it doesn’t have the same digital trace of being spent – in the way a card payment does (unless of course, you withdraw money from the bank).

There’s a generational divide, as people between 25-65 consider paying with physical cash to be a more ‘real’ transaction than with a card, due to the physical act of handing over money.

Growing up in a world of digital banking and more online businesses means that cash is less often used and therefore viewed in a different light by younger people.

Most survey respondents under 24 agreed with the statement that ‘paying with cash feels like “free money” because there is no trace of the cost in my online banking.’

Some people felt that because the money wasn’t shown in their statements, whatever it was spent on doesn’t factor into their budgeting, making the transaction ‘free’.

Sadly, all payments – cash or digital – are entirely real.

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