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Physical cash retains its popularity in face of electronic onslaught

20 April 2018  |  10924 views  |  8 cash

A new survey of 47 countries conducted by G4S reveals that demand for cash continues to rise globally, despite the increase in electronic payment options, including mobile in recent years.

While contactless payments and e-commerce growth continues unabated the G4s report highlight the enduring stickiness of notes and coins in the global economy, with cash in circulation relative to GDP increasing to 9.6% across all continents, up from 8.1% in 2011.

In Europe 80% of point-of-sale transactions are conducted in cash, while in North America, where card payments are most regularly used, cash use still accounts for 31%. In Asia the rise of online purchases does not mean that cash is taken out of the equation, with more than 3 out of every 4 online purchases in a number of countries paid for by cash on delivery.

Chief executive of G4S’ global cash division, Jesus Rosano, says: The evidence shows that contrary to popular opinion, demand for cash is growing in absolute terms and relative to GDP. People trust cash; it’s free to use and readily available for consumers, it’s confidential, it can’t be hacked and it doesn’t run out of battery power- these unique qualities continue to hold significant value to people living on all continents."

Just two countries show a significant decline in cash payments. In South Korea (cash use 14%) the government has a project in place to reduce coin circulation, while in Sweden (cash use 20%) electronic payments have seen a huge rise.

Resistance to the cashless economy can be demonstrated in Singapore, where the University of Singgapore's attempt to create a cashless campus has led to a backlash among vendors and students alike. A petition has been started against the move, slated for introduction in the next academic term, citing worries such as the lack of “inclusiveness” and the unreliable and “erratic nature” of the Wi-Fi connection on campus which could affect access to cashless payments.

Comments: (8)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 20 April, 2018, 12:43

No wonder that G4S, a major cash transportation company, comes to the conclusion that cash use and needs are growing, thus securing their future prospects. In Sweden the cash in transit companies have hired a spokesperson to orchestrate a public demand for cash payments access with arguments similar to those in Singapore.

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Jim Wells
Jim Wells - Wellspring Consulting International - Fort Lauderdale 20 April, 2018, 13:32

The g4s report is well-timed to counter the nonsensical hype of cashlessness. The primary beneficiaries of a cashless environment are banks, tech companies & governments. Consumers & businesses lose all privacy about their financial holdings and transactions. Even minor power disruptions render ecash worthless. And worse, eliminating physical cash facilitates the imposition of negative interest rates where everyone has to pay banks to hold their financial assets. 

 

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up!
Duane Tough
Duane Tough - PBATM - ny 20 April, 2018, 13:53

I find it interesting that the major card networks bring on many claims of cash going away but when a cash handler brings on a report of its growth, the comment is to acuse of bias....cash is not going anywhere. And well put Jim!

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up!
Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 20 April, 2018, 16:53

So an unnamed member in Sweden rubbishes the G4S survey, without any comments about the remaining 200+ countries in the world, most of which do not have the sophistication of technology available in Sweden. They need to get out of their little country and understand what is going on in the rest of the world.

2 thumb ups! 2 thumb ups!
Bo Harald
Bo Harald - ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki Region 21 April, 2018, 06:18

How silly can this be.... Cash is causing a 50billion annual cost to merchants in EU. Credit cards maybe one fifth. Who pays the difference? The consumer - every cent. And cards allow customers to buy more than they have in their wallets and have many other benefits.

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up!
Bo Harald
Bo Harald - ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki Region 21 April, 2018, 06:19

Cash has been on a very steady and ever fast retreat in Finland for the last 15 years..

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Bo Harald
Bo Harald - ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki Region 21 April, 2018, 06:26

Cash is a heavy CO2 load - and so is Bitcoin - consuming as much electricity as New Zealand - for no what good reason?

https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/2261/cash-is-expensive---also-for-the-environment

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up!
Bo Harald
Bo Harald - ZEF, Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki Region 22 April, 2018, 06:54

What kind of privacy is at risk - I wonder? I have never for a moment hesitated to use cards and always shun wasteful and dirty cash. Of course, if you are in shady business or tax evasion - cash is your best friend. And if you are in cash transport or ATM-business you might be tempted to ride on ignorance instead of trying to enlighten...But those days are over..

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