Several countries around the world have expressed their desire to go cashless. In some regions, that process will be more straightforward than elsewhere. The following countries are regions where going cashless is not an option nor, or in the near future.
Western European countries remain fairly loyal to physical currencies in the form of bills and coins. Spain is the leader in this regard, as 87% of the nation’s payments still occur in cash. That is a rather steep figure, given how digital payments are gaining a lot of traction throughout Europe as of late. Those hoping to see Spain go cashless will have to wait a little while longer, by the look of things.
It appears that Italy is very much in the same boat as Spain when it comes to switching to cashless payments. Most consumers and businesses are not ready to give up the physical aspect of money just yet. With 86% of domestic transactions not being cashless in 2018, it has become apparent that the country will not see any major changes overnight.
The biggest shocker on this list is how Japanese consumers and businesses still prefer to pay with cash. Japan has built up a reputation of being innovative when it comes to both technology and finance. Despite other Asian countries showing a clear preference to switch to cashless finance, Japanese consumers still conduct 82% of all payments in cash. A very high figure that will prove extremely difficult to reduce. The government has indicated it aims to have 40% of all transactions be cashless by 2025, yet that seems an unlikely scenario.
Even the Germans are not in favor of relying on digital payments for the foreseeable future. Four in five payments in the country are done through bills and coins, despite there being plenty of competing payment solutions in place. Given Germany’s strong financial position in the European union, other countries might maintain their wait-and-see approach before making any decisions on transitioning to a cashless environment.
The gap between France and Germany in terms of cash payments is relatively large. In Germany, 80% of payments are not cashless, whereas that rate sits at just 68% in France. Even so, there is still plenty of work ahead prior to making a decisive push to get rid of cash payments altogether. With four European countries in the top five or countries heavily relying on cash, it seems Europe is simply not ready to embrace the digital age of finance in full. That is not necessarily a bad thing either, but it certainly intriguing.
Statistics are provided by Statista.