Diminishing cash and check usage confirms that digital is the main battle arena for wallet share. While it’s been heading in that direction for several years, 2022 will be an inflection point for issuers, fintechs, and payment networks as consumers and businesses cement their pandemic-era payment habits. This shift also has implications for merchants that need to ensure customers can pay with their preferred method.

Even as customers returned to stores—and worries about cash as a virus vector dissipated—they didn’t turn to cash as often as pre-pandemic: The share of adults who prefer cash fell by a third between 2016 and 2020, per the Fed. That shift will keep usage low, with nearly a third of global consumers planning to use cash for less than 10% of transactions post-pandemic, per an April 2021 survey conducted by Sapio Research and published by Paysafe.