Cash Powers 75 Percent of POS Payments In Eurozone

Mobile payments might be all the rage in Europe, but they are seemingly far from replacing good old cash. In fact, when it comes to picking a payment method, most European consumers pick cash even over credit and debit cards.

According to a recent survey conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB), three-quarters of all point-of-sale (POS) transactions in the Euro zone are paid using cash.

“Even in this digital age, cash remains essential in our economy,” said Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, on the issue of a new €50 bank note — the most circulated denomination in Europe, which represents 46 percent of all euro banknotes. “A soon-to-be-published survey on cash use, carried out on behalf of the ECB, shows that over three-quarters of all payments at points of sale in the euro area are made in cash. In terms of transaction values, that’s slightly more than half.”

The survey, which is based on a daily diary completed by 65,281 respondents from 17 countries between October 2015 and July 2016, asked respondents to make notes of all of all of their POS transactions at their day-to-day stops, such as supermarkets, shops for durable goods, bars, restaurants and street markets.

The findings corroborate the results of the PYMNTS Global Cash Index, which projected cash usage in Western and Eastern Europe to increase to €2.2 trillion and €1.6 trillion by 2020, respectively.

The increase in cash usage comes with a growth in the eurozone’s GDP and consumers’ unrelenting love for cash.

And while there are now a plethora of alternative forms of payment available for European consumers, they seem to be struggling to cope up with the popularity of cash.

This is particularly true in countries like Lithuania and Croatia, where as of 2015 cash share stood at 86.5 percent and 71.3 percent, respectively. In Western Europe, on the other hand, Spain had the highest cash share at 29 percent, which was followed by Germany, where cash payments represented 21.4 percent of transactions.

The latest results of the PYMNTS Cash Index can be found here.