Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world, has proven that the resilience of cash resonates with us all in times of crisis. The Bank of Estonia has reportedly “issued more than €316 million worth of banknotes in circulation in the second quarter of 2020, a rise of 25% compared with the previous quarter.”
The net issuing of banknotes stood at 27% more than Q1 2020, suggesting Estonians followed the same pattern of cash behaviour following the Covid-19 pandemic as New Zealanders, Canadians and many others around the world.
"While coronavirus emergency situation recommendations called for the use of contactless card payments where possible, demand for cash remained stable throughout, the central bank says."
In addition to the increased circulation of banknotes, The Bank of Estonia con- firmed they released “€1.7 million-worth of coins.”
"The emergency situation declared by the government, which ran from March to May, did not seem to curb the demand for cash.”
Despite being known as e-Estonia, cash withdrawals from shop tills in the country “increased by 35% on the first quarter” and have proved “particularly popular in rural areas” where 60,000 withdrawals occurred, valued at €2.4 million.
The resilience of cash during a crisis has been highlighted by increased cash withdrawals and notes in circulation around the world in recent weeks. Notably, pro-cashless societies, such as the United States and the UK, have reported increased cash withdrawals ahead of e-Estonia.