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Bank of America CEO: 'We want a cashless society'

Javier E. David
Editor focused on markets and the economy
Bank card readers for payment via a cell phone application are pictured in this picture illustration taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan embraced the digital money movement on Wednesday, saying his firm has “more to gain than anybody” from the booming trend of non-cash transactions.

“We want a cashless society,” Moynihan, who heads up the second largest U.S. bank, told attendees at Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance conference.

He pointed out that more than half of all money transactions are already processed electronically, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, and payment systems like PayPal (PYPL), Zelle, and digital wallets.

A 2018 San Francisco Federal Reserve report found that “cash continues to be the most frequently used payment instrument, representing 30 percent of all transactions and 55 percent of transactions under $10.”

Still, the combination of cryptocurrencies, cashless payments, and electronic wallets like Google Pay (GOOGGOOGL) and Apple Pay (AAPL) are slowly eroding the need for hard currency. In particular, consumers have adopted mobile banking more widely, and use debit cards with increasing regularity.

Businesses, and even entire countries like Sweden, have also jumped on the movement, disrupting the hard currency that’s underpinned the modern economy.

Noncash transactions are forecast to grow by a compounded annualized growth rate of 12.7% through 2021, according to a 2018 study produced by BNP Paribas and Capgemini. Those vast volumes put financial intermediaries in a prime position to benefit from processing those transactions.

The banking sector has “already digitized,” Moynihan said on Wednesday. “The business has moved digitally and it will continue to move that way. It’s just figuring out how to add the value.”

Javier is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow Javier on Twitter: @TeflonGeek

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