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Cash in retreat, but not dead yet - ING

26 April 2017  |  8380 views  |  4 Euro Coin

A cashless society is not only within reach, but is actively desired by a third of Europeans, according to research conducted by ING.

The survey of 15,000 consumers found that with a plethora of alternatives to cash available to them, 68% say that they would rather visit a shop that only accepted cashless payments instead of notes and coins.

One in five people in Europe (21%) said they rarely carry cash anymore. And if given the option, one in three would go completely cashless. Over half of all respondents said they are using less cash today than they did 12 months ago.

“The days of rushing to the ATM so you have enough money for the weekend are long gone,” comments ING senior economist Ian Bright. “Card and even mobile phone payments are increasingly being seen as safe substitutes.”

However, there are stark differences in attitude between countries, with people in emerging economies like Turkey more willing to embrace a cashless futures than traditionalists in Britain, Holland, Germany and Austria.

Cash may be in retreat, but its far from dead. While two-thirds of the sample feel they could get by with no cash on hand for about three days, only 38% are comfortable with the idea of going cashless for more than a month.

Comments: (4)

Bo Harald
Bo Harald - ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki Region 26 April, 2017, 12:00

Cash handling is costin merchants 50bn€/year. The consumer is paying every cent of it - should be made aware of it. Unfair that card and mobile payers have to participate in the cost.

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Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 26 April, 2017, 13:59

Bo, how much do merchants pay credit and debit card companies each year? How much do the merchants pay as a percentage per transaction on a credit or debit card and how does this compare to the cost of handling cash per transaction?

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 April, 2017, 15:32

Many small US mom and pops post signs for card use with a minimum charge of $5, because of the fees. Cash is also annonymous. Its use will continue to go down, but might not ever completely dissappear.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 26 April, 2017, 18:49

All talk of merchant cost of handling cash is dubious and likely spread by banks, governments and fintechs who all have a vested interest in digital payments. How many people have seen a merchant hang out a sign saying "2% surcharge for cash payments" or "Cash payments accepted only above $5"? If digitization of payments removes costs, why're banks charging for digital payments?

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