In the United Arab Emirates, 39% of people prefer to use cash (YG, 2021)

Jun 2, 2021


This statistic is from YouGov's Global Banking & Finance Report 2021.

The report explores how COVID-19 has changed preferences, behaviours and expectations in each global market, providing an overview of financial attitudes and habits in 2021. Encompassing payments, investment, banking ethics and marketing, it aims to set benchmarks for comparison in future reports.

The 17 markets covered are Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.


The report notes that, in several markets, the majority of consumers have actively limited spending. This ranges from 20 percent of the adult population in Denmark to 53 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 56 percent in Italy. In Indonesia, the figure is as high as 72 percent. COVID-19, it observes, has given people many reasons to lower their expenditure.

With regards to how people pay, the report finds that the reduction in cash use has been rather exaggerated, and physical money remains a popular and necessary payment option.

The 'death of cash' has been frequently pronounced, but the data shows that in these 17 markets it has been overstated. In most, hard currency is either preferred by a plurality of consumers or there is a clear split between those who prefer it and those who do not.
"YouGov's Global Banking & Finance Report 2021

Overall, Germans are among the most likely to prefer cash, and the least likely to use contactless payments. It ties with the United States for the lowest level of contactless adoption in the 17 markets covered by this report.

Mexicans are the most likely to say they prefer cash to other payment options at 51 percent, followed by Germans on 46 percent, and the UAE, India, Indonesia and Spain, tied on 39 percent. Cash also remains popular in Australia, the U.S. and Italy, with 30 percent of respondents reporting a preference for it.

About YouGov

YouGov is a British international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, headquartered in the UK, with operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2021