Fletcher in the News

Cash Costs U.S. Businesses $40 Billion a Year: IBGC Study Featured in Inc.

Cost of Cash, The Fletcher School, IGBC

An in-depth new study from Tufts University found that the use of cash costs United States businesses a total of $55 billion a year. While the study found that the overwhelming majority of the costs were due to theft, the businesses surveyed weren't ready to give it up for electronic alternatives.

The study, conducted by senior associate dean Bhaskar Chakravorti and postdoctoral research fellow Benjamin Mazzotta, surveyed 130 owners of small-to-medium-sized businesses in a cross-section of industries, including entertainment, transportation, food, health care, lodging, and more. The responses were then analyzed with data from the US Federal Reserve, McKinsey, the National Retail Security, and the US Economic Census.

The most costly burden the researchers found was retail theft, which accounts for $40 billion a year. And get this: Cash theft losses are greater than bad checks, credit card fraud, refund fraud, and internet fraud combined, according to FBI statistics cited in the study.

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