"Reports of the death of cash have been greatly exaggerated," San Francisco Fed President, John Williams once said .
Despite the boom in the digital payments systems sector, economic turmoil, ebbing and flowing interest rates and conflict and natural disasters usually cause an increase in the demand for cold hard cash.
Though more and more of the world is going cashless , the global criminal underworld is still largely a cash industry.
According to a report by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), although the rapid evolution of technology has made international crime syndicates more sophisticated, cash is still king.
Criminals are not, as politicians have lead the public to believe, taking to cryptocurrency exchanges en masse to launder the proceeds from their activities but are generally sticking to traditional methods.
The use of cash in money laundering activities by the criminal underworld, according to Interpol's Director, Rob Wainwright, remains a significant threat to the successful investigation and prosecution of crime.
Thwarting international crime rings has been a difficult undertaking for The European Union's law enforcement. Money laundering convictions and asset recovery efforts have, for the most part, been unequipped to take on serious and organised criminal syndicates.
The Interpol, strategic report takes an indepth look at money's role in the commercial activities of organized crime, with respect to money laundering and offers practical methods to remedy some of the issues that have plagued law enforcement, and stymied investigations. Thus, opening a pathway to more effective investigations and a possible growth in conviction rates - with Wainwright adding:
The findings of this report are reflected in a set of recommendations aimed at providing practical solutions which could assist in preventing the use of cash for criminal purposes as well as enabling investigators to achieve higher rates of successful convictions.