Electronic Payment Systems vs. Cash

When it comes to making a payment, you typically have several different options to consider. While some prefer the simple method of paying with cash, others prefer to use electronic payment systems to make their payments. Both methods have some advantages to consider, and understanding how these methods work can help you avoid taking on unnecessary risks as a consumer.


One of the key differences between electronic payment systems and cash is the delivery of the payment. When you pay with cash, the delivery of the payment can be a little more complicated. You have to figure out how to physically get the cash to the business or other party. When you use an electronic method of payment, the money can be transferred through the Automated Clearing House, or some other network that the financial institution uses.


The safety of these two payment methods is another issue to consider. When you work with cash, there is very little safety involved. If the cash is lost or stolen along the way to making a payment, you have no way of getting access to it again. When you make an electronic payment, such as with a debit or credit card, the payment can be stopped or reversed. If the card is lost or stolen, you can simply cancel it and get another one. You also have limited liability with both types of cards.

Electronic Tracking

Another difference between cash and electronic methods is the way payments are tracked. When you make electronic payment, there is a record of it which can be tracked. If you use cash to make a payment, no receipt is automatically produced. When you use cash to make a payment, you can request a receipt from the merchant, but it is not automatically generated as is the case with electronic payments. This makes the paper trail more pronounced with electronic payment systems.


When trying to decide whether to make payments with cash or with electronic payment systems, you also have to factor in the amount of convenience involved. When paying cash, you have to deal with getting access to the cash on a regular basis. By comparison, when you use an electronic payment system, your payments can automatically be made on a regular schedule without your having to worry about getting access to cash first.