2017 No. 17–6

Research Data Reports

U.S. Consumer Cash Use, 2012 and 2015: An Introduction to the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice U.S. Consumer Cash Use, 2012 and 2015: An Introduction to the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice

By Claire Greene, Shaun O’Brien, and Scott Schuh

Given the proliferation of electronic payment networks and the commonly held theory that “cash is dying” in the United States, the authors of this paper set out to report estimates of cash use between 2012 and 2015. They also sought to explain methodological differences between two measures of consumer cash payment use and to offer an estimate of the difference that attempts to harmonize the data.

The authors analyzed estimates of the number and value of cash and noncash payments from the 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), which was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, Richmond, and San Francisco. They used both the DCPC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) to compare results for 2015 with results from 2012, focusing on consumer use of cash.

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