Cash use in Eastern Europe is robust, and the amount of cash spent in Eastern Europe is expected to continue to increase despite the adoption of cards and mobile wallets. The Q3 2016 PYMNTS Global Cash Index™ shows that Europe has a higher cash share than Western Europe, and the volume of cash transactions per capita is greater than in the U.S.
According to Tomas Karpavičius, head of the market infrastructure policy division of the Bank of Lithuania, people often use cash because they consider it more secure than other forms of payment, particularly in regions like Eastern Europe that are accustomed to political unrest and economic insecurity. Other factors affecting the use of cash are income levels and the behaviors of different demographic segments. Older people are slower to change their habits, and younger generations are more open to new payment methods.
Here is some key data:
$1 trillion | The amount that Eastern European consumers spent in cash in 2015
$1.6 billion | The annual amount of cash expected to be spent in Europe in 2020, up from $1.3 billion in 2015
86.5% | The cash share of Lithuania, the highest in Eastern Europe, followed by Croatia with 71.3 percent
38.4% | Weighted average cash use as a percentage of GDP in Eastern Europe
19.2% | The cash share for Estonia, the lowest in Eastern Europe, followed by Turkey with 25.9 percent