But the sharp jag away from cash also worries those who look out for older and poorer Americans—groups that tend to be more reliant on paper money either for lack of tech savvy, out of habit or because they don’t participate in the formal banking system.

“Even in this pandemic crisis, we have the same vulnerable people we had before that did not have access to banks or credit cards,” says Vallie Brown, a cash advocate and former Democratic member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

There’s an ideological component as well: Among cash’s strengths is that it’s universally accepted and difficult to track, giving Americans a just about anonymous way to, say, donate to their preferred church or live out their life as a persecuted minority or back a dissident group. “Some of us still use cash because we think it’s nobody’s business,” says Jim Harper, a visiting fellow with the libertarian-leaning American Enterprise Institute.