Fletcher in the News

The High Cost of Cash: IBGC Study Highlighted

Cost of Cash, The Fletcher School, IGBC

Although people often think that paying in cash is free, it actually costs Americans some $200 billion a year -- or an average of roughly $1,700 per household, according to a new study by [The Fletcher School at] Tufts University in suburban Boston.

The biggest portion of the cost -- about $100 billion -- is borne by the federal government, which pays about $1.2 billion producing and distributing cash, with the rest attributed to losses from foregone tax revenue from cash transactions, the study said.

Cash costs businesses about $55 billion a year, according to the study, with the largest chunks being $40 billion from theft of cash at retail stores and $6 billion for automated teller machine operations.

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