Business

More than a third of Europeans, Americans keen to go cashless

LONDON: More than a third of Europeans and Americans would be happy to go without cash and rely on electronic forms of payment if they could, and at least 20 per cent already pretty much do so, a study showed yesterday.

The study, which was conducted in 13 European countries, the United States and Australia, also found that in many places where cash is most used, people are among the keenest to ditch it. Overall, 34 per cent of respondents in Europe and 38 per cent in the US said they would be willing to go cash-free, according to the survey conducted by Ipsos for the ING bank website eZonomics.

Twenty-one per cent in Europe and 34 per cent in the US said they already rarely use cash.

The trend was also clear. More than half of the European respondents said they had used less cash in the past 12 months than previously and 78 per cent said they expected to use it even less over the coming 12 months.

Payment systems such as contactless cards and mobile-phone digital wallets have become so prevalent that the issue has become political in some countries.

Cash-loving Germans, for example, have been concerned that a move by the European Central Bank to phase out the 500 euro note by the end of next year is the start of a slippery slope.

Germany is one of the countries that uses cash the most.

The ING survey showed only 10 per cent of Germans saying they rarely use cash, compared, for example, with 33 per cent in neighbouring Poland and 35 per cent in France. - REUTERS

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