In a recent study conducted by Avni M. Shah, an assistant marketing professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, consumers paying with cash will value their purchase more than when paying with a card. 

Shah along with three other colleagues comprised a study entitled “ ‘Paper or Plastic?’: How We Pay Influences Post-Transaction Connections.” This study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. shows the connection between how you pay for something and the way you feel about that transaction even an hour later. 

“Cash feels the most painful,” Professor Shah said to The New York Times. “Even a check feels quite painful.”

After giving research participants either cash or a voucher to donate to one of three causes and a ribbon to wear showing they had made a donation, Professor Shah found that 50 percent of the cash-donators still wore their ribbon later that day. While only 14 percent of the voucher-donators did so, showing a less emotional connection to the donated funds. 

Study shows cash adds value