The Future of Payments in Europe

calendar iconNov 12, 2021


A new report exploring issues and innovations that could emerge over the next decade of payments foresees cash remaining an important option to 2030 and beyond, with experts anticipating there will be many who continue to use it ‘unless people’s hands are forced’.

The report—titled The European Payments Landscape in 2030—was prepared by Marqeta, a global card issuing platform, and Consult Hyperion, independent experts in payments and identity. It consists of insights drawn from workshops gathering expert opinions on where the market is heading combined with the findings from a survey of 2,037 consumers that gauged public sentiment around advancing payment technologies.

80 percent of consumers surveyed felt the option to pay with cash is a human right, with 83 percent saying a decline in cash risks excluding society’s most at-risk people. 50 percent of respondents said they felt pressured to use cashless options due to businesses refusing cash, rising to 75 percent among those aged 65+. 38 percent were concerned that younger people would not understand the value of cash if they don’t use it often.

51 percent of people reported a willingness to consider having a microchip implanted in their hand for use as an additional payment option. Of those, around half felt it would be a useful backup option should they be caught without cash or a card. The major concerns were around the potential invasiveness and security issues around such a product.

Two-thirds of respondents felt it is already becoming more difficult to withdraw cash due to declining bank branches and ATMs. Access to and the option to use cash are widely considered important to improving social inclusion. 80 percent of people said banks and governments are not currently doing enough to support cash users.

The study also revealed concerns around the future of budgeting, with cash often favoured thanks to its simplicity and tangibility. More than a third of respondents suspected young people who are not widely exposed to cash may struggle with budgeting and saving. A related concern was their desensitisation to microtransactions in video games—which are increasingly becoming normalised among younger gamers—and how this could feed into overall perceptions of the value of money.

The report concluded that present payment options would persist and ultimately coexist with new, potentially unforeseen options.

In all likelihood we will see a mixture of both what we know and what we haven’t thought of yet, with some continuing to use cash and cards while others pay in ways not yet even conceived.
"Report: The European Payments Landscape in 2030
Last Updated: Jan 17, 2022