The report explores whether economic backgrounds impact cash use, and finds that while they do matter, the outcome is not uniform.
There is an abundance of research showing we’re moving ever closer to a ‘cashless’ society - and New Zealand has been among the world leaders in digital banking and adopting cashless payments.
But while cash is being used increasingly less today, a survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) in 2017 found that 96% of New Zealand’s adult population still use cash and at least 80% carry at least some cash in their wallet or purse.
'Though it’s commonly believed that cash is used less in today’s world, the actual amount and value of cash in circulation continues to grow year on year.'
In this report, BNZ looks at how much cash New Zealanders actually carry. More specifically, BNZ asked New Zealand consumers how much cash they carried in their purses or wallets over the past week. On average, they told us they had $70. But the amount of cash carried was far from uniform and varied by age, gender, how much we earn and where we live.
Key findings include
- People in New Zealand carry around $70 in cash on average
- Men carry more cash than women ($89 v. $52)
- 39-49-year olds carry the most cash about $79
- Over 50s on average carry $68 in cash
- 18-29s on average carry $61 in cash
- Aucklanders carry the most cash ($101), well ahead of Wellington ($69) the next highest
New research has revealed New Zealanders’ love affair with cards hasn’t wiped out their connection with cash
"How much cash we carry, what we use it for, and how we use other payment technologies differs by age, gender, and interestingly where we live,”
New Zealanders are known for leading the world in taking up new payment technologies. We led with EFTPOS 35 years ago and cards are still the most popular way to pay, with card transactions increasing year-on-year. But Kiwis are still keeping some cash in their purses and wallets.