I experienced this scenario where one of the biggest banks of the nation (not USA) went belly up and people panicked trying to withdraw their money from all other banks. This caused cash shortage which triggered further panic (and other bankruptcy). The gov't eventually placed a maximum withdrawal per account but the people took months to settle down. Note that the country, at that time, hardly uses CC or Debit card yet and most transactions are in cash. Commerce, work, etc. continued normally despite this. Scenario. USA lost means to do electronic transactions (for whatever reason). No ATM, no POS CC/Debit card processing, etc. It is temporary and may just last a day or could be weeks. Note that in this scenario, like in my example, you can still buy anything and everything if you have cash. Are you ready or will you be one of the mob waiting for the bank to open? How much cash do you have (not your savings in the bank)? Do you have enough supplies and try to wait it out? What is the likelihood that it will ignite riots?