Cash remains hugely important all over the world, shows G4S report

Apr 19, 2018

On April 17th, 2018, a global security company published the "2018 G4S World Cash Report", concluding that "demand for cash continues to rise globally, despite the increase in electronic payment options".

According to the World Cash Report, first of its kind, "Cash is still by far the most widely used form of payment in all regions of the world and cash in circulation is growing." As it turns out, all this "cash is dead or dying" cashless overhype is misinformation. When it comes to the public's relationship with cash, both per continent and on a global level, it is clear that cash is not just important... it is increasingly important.

The findings are based on G4S surveys conducted over 47 countries, covering 75% of the global population an 90% of the world's GDP, tracking changes in payments behaviors across the world between 2011 and 2016.

Key figures include

“Cash remains fundamental in our day to day global economy. The evidence shows that contrary to popular opinion, demand for cash is growing in absolute terms and relative to GDP."
"Jesus RosanoChief ExecutiveG4S’ Global Cash Division
“People trust cash; it’s free to use and readily available for consumers, it’s confidential, it can’t be hacked and it doesn’t run out of battery power– these unique qualities continue to hold significant value to people living on all continents."
"Jesus RosanoChief ExecutiveG4S’ Global Cash Division

The report draws attention to some of the unique attributes of cash which make it the world's favorite payment form:

  1. Cost-Efficiency
  2. Inclusion
  3. Trust
  4. Reliability
  5. Accessibility
  6. Confidentiality

Given the anonymity of cash transactions, it is very difficult to establish the exact volumes of transactions conducted in cash. In order to make a credible estimation of the status of cash throughout a geography, this report looks at two key indicators:

  • The value of Currency in Circulation vs. GDP
  • The value of ATM withdrawals
“Above all, the World Cash Report highlights that wherever people are in the world, they use and value a range of payment options. There is no region where everyone chooses the same way to pay and cash remains hugely important all over the world.
"Jesus RosanoChief ExecutiveG4S’ Global Cash Division

Excerpt from G4S Report

"The report highlights the variety of payment habits in different regions. In Europe, 80% of point-of-sale transactions are conducted in cash, while in North America, where card payments are most regularly used, cash use still accounts for 31%. In Asia, the rise of online purchases does not mean that cash is taken out of the equation, with more than 3 out of every 4 online purchases in a number of countries paid for by cash on delivery.

The attractiveness of cash and the reason consumers often select cash as their preferred method of payment (if they have a choice in payment method in the first place), could be because cash uniquely covers many of the features that consumers most value in a payment instrument, such as 100% availability and reliability, anonymity, and direct settlement without the need for a technical infrastructure."

Download report here

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2024