Cash Tops In-store Payments in Europe
The European Central Bank (ECB) reports that cash remains the number one choice for consumer payments, even as the share of electronic payments grows.
In its December 2022 publication—Study on the Payment Attitudes of Consumers in the Euro Area—the ECB says cash was used for 59 percent of point-of-sale transactions in 2022 and is the most-used payment method for in-store and person-to-person transactions. It suggested physical money continues to be valued as a budgeting aid, while people also appreciate the privacy and immediacy it offers.
Consumers perceive cash as helpful to remain aware of their expenditures, to protect their privacy and to allow transactions to be settled immediately.
The share of online purchases as a percentage of all daily transactions reached a new high of 17 percent in 2022, while cards were used for around 34 percent of in-store payments, with the majority of these transactions being contactless.
Assessing Europeans’ satisfaction with cash access, the report concluded the vast majority of consumers find it easy to visit a bank or ATM to make withdrawals, with the ECB restating its commitment to ensuring ‘means of payment remain accessible to all Euro Area citizens, regardless of their age, income or place of residence.’
The ECB is committed to ensuring that consumers remain free to choose how to pay, both now and in the future. We are seeing confirmation of strong demand for both cash and digital payments.