2023 Payments Report Confirms Cash is Essential to Economies Worldwide

Apr 19, 2023


The 2023 Global Payments Report from fintech company FIS shows ‘cash continues to play an essential role in most economies’, accounting for over $7.6 trillion in consumer spending throughout 2022.

Cash remains the most-used payment option across Africa and the Middle East, and Latin America, with the rate of decline in its use seen globally during the pandemic levelling off. Around the world, while its use has dropped in many countries, it remains steady in some and has seen modest rises in others. In Italy, the share of cash transactions at point of sale (POS) remained steady in 2021 and 2022 at 27 percent, while it rose in America from 11 to 12 percent, and in France from nine to 10 percent.

Globally, cash accounts for 16 percent of POS payments, while debit cards are used for 23 percent, credit cards for 26 percent and digital wallets for 32 percent.

By region, cash is used for 15 percent of POS transactions in Asia Pacific, 22 percent in Europe, 31 percent in Latin America, 43 percent in Africa and the Middle East, and 12 percent in North America. The highest cash users include Thailand (56 percent) and Japan (51 percent), Spain (44 percent) and Germany (39 percent), Mexico (39 percent) and Colombia (36 percent), Nigeria (62 percent) and Saudi Arabia (39 percent).

The report notes that some governments are ‘actively promoting a move away from cash’ (Brazil, India and Thailand) while others are introducing legislation aimed at defending cash access and usage in support of financial inclusion. Examples of these divergent approaches include proposed cash limiting measures being voted on in the EU versus America’s Payment Choice Act, which could see existing state- and city-wide requirements for businesses to allow cash payments expanded nationwide.

Visit the FIS website to download the latest Global Payments Report.

Last Updated: Apr 19, 2023