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Cash still king to many, ING study finds

Sept. 25, 2020 Share

According to a new study by ING, published 22nd September, not even a global pandemic can shift preferences for cash as an option. While acknowledging cash has recently stepped aside from its reign as king, the study proves it is certainly “still royalty.”

Acknowledging the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on cash, the study shows that attitudes have shifted somewhat in response to the outbreak. However, ING explain this is due to necessity more than anything. The study reveals that “with many shops shut, people have been forced to buy online” and that many countries “have also raised the amount customers can spend by tapping a credit or debit card to encourage movement away from handling physical money.”

However, the pandemic experience has highlighted the necessity of payment choice. The study states that “the attitudinal change -- as opposed to the change in usage -- has not been dramatic. Many people indicate that they are happy for cash to stick around.”

"Change is slow: those with an affinity to cash have been less affected by recent events. Not even a global pandemic can shift some preferences for the stability and tangibility of hard-earned cash, even if they use it less than before."

Key takeaways:

- Cash remains a common way to pay for smaller amounts in person, with 73% of people giving pocket money, for example, in cash

- The preference for cash when paying for smaller amounts is driven by convenience, 40% of Europeans say they choose cash because it is ‘quick to pay’

- There are benefits of using cash that mean it remains a popular option for many people

- Three in 10 (29%) strongly disagreed with the statement “I would prefer it if cash no longer existed"

- When asked what type of payments they expect to use in the next six months, more people picked cash than any other method

- The option to choose cash -- or at least to retain it as an option -- remains desirable

Excerpts from ING’s Not even a global pandemic can shift preferences for cash as an option Study:

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'How do you usually pay for...'

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'Do you agree or disagree with: 'I would prefer it if cash no longer existed'

Last Updated: Sept. 25, 2020

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