Cash Usage Up in New Zealand

calendar iconAug 24, 2022


The latest payment survey from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand shows fewer people are using debit cards for everyday expenses, with cash and credit card usage remaining roughly equal to each other and seeing small increases.

The percentage of people using debit cards for everyday payments dropped from 77.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022 to 70.5 percent in the second quarter. Cash usage rose from 46.9 to 47.5 percent while credit card usage was up to 47.6 percent from a previous 46.4 percent.

Regarding cash usage in the past seven days prior to the survey, just 3.8 percent of people reported never using cash, while 32.8 percent said that had not used it in the past week. 34.9 percent had used it once or twice, 17.1 percent had used it between three and six times, and 10.2 percent reported using it more frequently. This most frequent cash user group has grown from 6.3 percent in the first quarter.

81.4 percent of people say they keep a store of cash, with 10.4 percent saying they hold $1,000 or more. The most common amount was $50 or less, kept on hand for emergency payments or small transactions, reported by 25.3 percent of people, while the next-most common amount was $101–500, held by 18.2 percent of people.

Overall, 53.3 percent of people believe it is now more important than usual to have savings, while 36.2 percent feel it is as important as it has ever been, and 10.5 percent either feel it is less important than usual to save, or are undecided over how important savings are.

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2022