NEW REPORT: Asia Pacific, Still Cash Crazy

Even as some countries move away from physical currency in favor of more modern payment methods, demand in larger nations means the Asia-Pacific region is still clinging to cash.

With China and India driving economic growth, countries in the Asia-Pacific region are estimated to spend some $8.1 trillion in cash in 2020, marking a 7.5 percent compound annual growth rate. The growth underpins varying use of cash across the region, with some countries like Japan and Australia showing negative growth, whereas, India and China are spending even more, according to the Global Cash Index™ Asia-Pacific Analysis.

In India, just between 2015 and 2020, cash use is projected to grow at a 12 percent CAGR despite recent demonetization, a jump despite use of digital payments in the country. China, on the other hand, expects to see a solid 7.5 percent CAGR in use of cash, even with its booming eCommerce industry.

But in Japan, total use of cash is projected to decline by -6.5 percent CAGR until 2020.

Other key takeaways from the new Global Cash Index™ Asia-Pacific Analysis:

  • China and India collectively spent $4.7 trillion in cash payments in 2015.
  • By 2020, India will become the biggest user of cash in the region.
  • Countries in the Asia-Pacific region used $5.6 trillion in cash in 2015.

The Global Cash Index™ Asia-Pacific Analysis also features an interview with Nirupama Soundararajan, an economist at Pahle India, a New Delhi-based political research think tank.

PYMNTS caught up with Soundararajan to gauge the state of cash in India and to discuss how demonetization has affected overall cash usage. Despite the Indian government’s efforts to loosen regulations, Soundararajan said, digital payments don’t stand a chance to replace cash. At least, not until consumer concerns surrounding fraud settlements and transaction security are put to rest.

To read the full story, check out the Index.

To download the analysis, please click below… 

About the Index

The Global Cash Index™, a Cardtronics collaboration, focuses on the use of cash for making payments and as a payment method that equally plays a role with cards, checks, direct debit and other methods of settling up between consumers and businesses. Unlike most reported estimates of cash, our proprietary data analysis focuses on the use of cash for making payments rather than hoarding.