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Credit vs Cash usage in Europe

Elliott Confidential published a small chart this morning indicating the percentage of cash-based payments in the world, here are the European countries' rankings. I have no idea how accurate this is, but it's interesting. Based on a study by Merchant Machine, merchantmachine.co.uk , the use of cash continues to decline in Europe. The numbers are a result of analysis of the metrics of internet access, percentage with a credit card, number of ATMs unbanked population, and cash reliant index score out of 10. The study indicates that cash is still prevalent in Eastern Europe. The author lamented the fact that he was required to pay for a meal in kuna in Croatia, but they "didn't tell (me) until after I ordered the meal". Duh. If you're not sure, ask.

1 Norway Cash-based payments 2%, reliance score 1.54
2 Finland Cash-based payments 2%, reliance score 1.87
5 Sweden Cash-based payments 1%, reliance score 2.10
6 Denmark Cash-based payments 1%, reliance score 2.15
7 Switzerland Cash-based payments 2%, reliance score 2.21
8 UK Cash-based payments 1%, reliance score 2.22
10 Netherlands Cash-based payments 4%, reliance score 2.46

Sandwiched between these are New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The most cash-reliant countries? Morocco, Egypt and Kenya

Posted by
1470 posts

NOT surprised in the least with those survey findings.

And I fully concur with what @ Tim in NJ posts "I only pay cash in Europe when I absolutely have to"

Posted by
542 posts

Interesting the way this published. I just typed it as regular text and voila -- a fancy chart.

Posted by
28804 posts

take out the hash marks - number key - # - and poof the formatting will be made normal again, and far nicer on the eyes .... just wait a mo and I'll get my sunglasses 😎

Posted by
969 posts

Just returned from the RS Scandinavia tour and we only used Apple pay for everything! I mean even the taxi's, the whole society is cashless. With my Apple watch I never even had to get my credit cards out of my pocket.

Posted by
100 posts

Donald, that is what matters more to me. Cashless is fine, but being able to leave my credit cards safely tucked away in RFID sleeves is what really excites me. I leave in two weeks and am looking forward to using Google Pay for essentially everything. Card skimming is a rampant form of theft and it is nice to know that I won't have to worry about it.

Posted by
1470 posts

Just a heads up, RFID sleeves do nothing to prevent card skimming. Your card is most exposed to skimmers illegally attached to ATMs or self-serve gas pumps, where you would have had to remove the sleeve anyway.
.
In order for "success" by a perpetrator, out in the open, the perpetrator would have to wand you the same way they wand travellers going through airport security ... pretty sure that most everyone would notice that.

Posted by
22152 posts

Periscope is correct. The RFID sleeves is simple fear marketing looking for a solution. If more comfortable using an RFID sleeve, do so but don't spend money to buy the sleeves. Card skimming occurs when using the card not when you carry it. Then it is pickpockets that you should worry about it. But they are rare also.

Posted by
165 posts

Contactless payment, in which the card never leaves your hand and you simply tap/touch a portable terminal is what I've seen mostly on my past two trips to Europe.
I wish banks in the USA would come into the 20th century and move in that direction. Even the smallest Mom & pop stores had tap and go devices.

Posted by
1467 posts

I agree love the contactless payment.

I don’t think it’s the banks holding it back in the US. Every credit and debit card I have now has contactless payment feature. I suspect it’s the merchant. Almost everyplace I go now had it enabled. Lone holdout is falafel place and an old school donut shop. But the donut shop is cash only.

Oh and sit down restaurants here don’t have the handheld payment machines.

Posted by
1227 posts

The US is always a year or two behind Europe in credit cards. I remember going and everyone in Europe had chips, except US cards. Now we all have chips and contact cards are available, but you need to order new cards to get them updated before your card expires. US businesses are also slow in getting new point of sale equipment.

Posted by
1795 posts

Nope, somewhere there, you did a copy and paste.

Actually, Periscope, you can create something similar by using the Heading option above (next to the bullet list option).

Posted by
14200 posts

I only use cash when it's more convenient than a card. I only use a card when it's more convenient than cash. Never use a apple watch. Clashes with the Rolex.

Last 4 week trip my policy cost me an extra $33.37 in exchange costs. Thats a 0.0035% surcharge on the cost of the trip.

Posted by
22152 posts

I doubt if you sent almost a million dollars on your last trip. It is either .35% or .0035.

Posted by
100 posts

I am in London right now and regrete getting GB pounds at home. I have used Google pay for everything including buses and trains.

Posted by
14200 posts

The study indicates that cash is still prevalent in Eastern Europe.

Pretty much the case in Budapest. No one has a problem taking cash, but its maybe 1 in 4 or 5 transactions. Taxis have card readers but sort of prefer cash as the cash is faster when they are parked blocking traffic. Personal "service" providers and small time guides want cash. I generally do about 50/50 on a day out. But its more habbit than need. And I like to be sure there is lots of room on the credit card just in case.