Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cash is King.... NOT

All throughout college my parents always harassed me because I never carried cash. I didn't understand why I needed wads of cash when a single card would suffice. Of course my parents did not go to college when you could order almost everything online or on a smartphone, so their badgering was appropriate - and I can still hear my mom nagging me in my head every time I open my wallet and know there isn't cash in there.

However today cash is NOT king, with applications like Uber, PayPal and Venmo  - cash is becoming more and more obsolete.

Uber. Currently I am obsessed with Uber, as I am sure a number of other people are. But how can you not be? Not only are you able to order a cab without the hassle of going through an automated taxi service, but the app hooks up to your credit card/bank account and you can even split the fare with your friends. So no more figuring out who owes who for the ride across town.

PayPal. PayPal as been around for a while and is almost always an option as a way to pay for something online whether it is through or But PayPal caught my eye again when I received an email from Uber saying they have always been cashless, but starting on November 19th you don't even need your credit card information because they have streamlined the paying process by partnering with PayPal.

Venmo. Living with two other roommates we are constantly dividing bills, expenses and groceries by 3, which makes paying each other back a constant project.  However with Venmo we are able to go onto our smartphones and electronically send whoever paid the Comcast bill $25 all without exchanging cash or checks.  And what's even better - Venmo does not charge users any fees to receive money or make payments from debit cards or bank transfers.

While it is always a good idea to have a couple of bucks in your wallet just in case; fewer scenarios are arising when cash is your only option, whether you are paying with a physical card or a digital one.  

So what does this mean for marketers? 
  • When creating a website or portal that deals with transactions (especially if it is directed at millennials) have a way to streamline the paying process; whether it is through PayPal or saving card information for returning users.
  • Pay attention to the electronic paying space; especially with Venmo looking for ways to become more social and create brand interaction. 
    • Also keep a look out for Google Wallet making a comeback after launching in 2011 and attempting to enable users to store their credit cards digitally on their mobile devices and use them to wirelessly make in-store payments.

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