At a whopping 92%, almost every point-of-sale transactions in Malta occured thanks to cash in 2016, reports the European Central Banks.
The research, published in the ECB's 'Occasional Paper Series: The use of cash by households in the EU Area' finds that even though cash is king in the EU, the way it is used differs from country to country.
The survey results not only “challenge the perception that cash is rapidly being replaced by cashless means of payment,” but also confirm that cash is still the predominant payment instrument across the Eurozone at a POS level.
Key findings related to Malta include
- Cash made up 74% of the total value of transactions in Malta and 92% of the total number of transactions;
- At 92%, the share of cash was highest in Malta, followed by Greece, Cyprus - both over 70 percent (p. 4);
- Comparatively, the share of cash was lowest in Estonia, France and Finland - all below 34% (p. 4);
- The average card transaction value was the highest in Luxembourg, Malta and Germany, where it ranged from €70.78 to €51.38 (p. 21);
- While the Netherlands carried out 55% of all transactions using a payment card, Estonia consumers carried out an equal number of transactions by cash and card, on average (p. 22); finally,
- As expected, countries where income is often given in non-cash payments, cash usage is generally very low. Yet, while the total of those paid in cash in Malta and Austria is below the EU averag, the levels of cash usage are of the highest (p. 48).
The only other recent paper estimating the value and number of payment behaviour around Europe dates from 2008, making this ECB research paper essential reading material for policy makers, key stakeholders and journalists navigating the discussion on cash.
"... results put the use of cash relative to non-cash payment methods by consumers at POS into perspective, and indicate that the use of cash at POS is still widespread in most euro area countries. This seems to challenge the perception that cash is rapidly being replaced by cashless..."
Excerpt from ECB Occasional Paper Series: The use of cash by households in the EU area
The use of cash and cards differs according to country, place of purchase, transaction value and consumers’ demographic characteristics. In terms of number of transactions, cash was most used in the southern euro area countries, as well as in Germany, Austria and Slovenia, where 80% or more of POS transactions were conducted with cash. Cash was least used in the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland, where its share in the number of transactions ranged between 45% and 54%. In terms of value, the share of cash was highest in Greece, Cyprus and Malta (above 70%), while it was lowest in the Benelux countries, Estonia, France and Finland (at, or below, 33%)...
Esselink, Henk, Lola Hernández. "Occasional papers series: The use of cash by households in the euro area". No 201. European Central Bank. Electronically published November 2017. Accessed November 25, 2017.
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