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Cash and debit cards continue to beat out new payment methods across Europe

Cash and debit cards continue to beat out new payment methods across Europe

Ingrid van den Berg

Senior Account Manager

20 January 2015

Cash and debit cards continue to beat out new payment methods across Europe




A recent report published by research company Harris Interactive reveals that cash payments remain as popular as ever in France, Germany, Italy and Poland, with new payment methods being slow to catch on. French consumers on the whole, however, favour debit cards and credit cards over cash to pay for purchases. How do these preferences affect the world of payments?

Harris Interactive conducted an online survey – commissioned by Crédit Agricole Cards & Payments – among thousands of respondents in September 2014. The survey clearly shows that each country has its own individual preferences when it comes to favourite payment methods. The results are shown in this Infogr.am and below this blog post.

According to the survey, adults in Poland (94%), Germany (94%) and Italy (92%) were most likely to use cash. Of the French respondents, 89% used cash, although debit cards were more popular, being the preferred payment method of 94% of those surveyed.

Several other noteworthy results from the survey:

  • 78% of French consumers use direct debit as a payment method
  • 84% of Germans use wire transfers to transfer funds
  • Nearly 70% of Poles use their debit card for contactless payments
  • Italy scores highest (37%) in using electronic wallets
  • Cheques are popular in France: used by 44% of French respondents
  • 14% of Polish consumers use their smartphone to make payments.


Cash payment at the local bakery

The survey not only considered the type of payment methods people used, but also their preferred payment method for day-to-day purchases at retailers such as bakeries, supermarkets and tobacconists. When it comes to these purchases, cash payments are as popular as ever in Germany (87%), Italy (86%) and France (80%).Only 58% of the Polish respondents use cash, alongside debit cards (17%) and contactless debit card payments (19%).

Poles embrace contactless payments

While cash and debit card payments continue to be dominant in the countries surveyed, Poland indicates that newer forms of payment are growing in popularity. The survey clearly reveals that consumers want to start using debit cards (including contactless payments) more frequently, which means that cash payments will lose out.

Goodbye to paper cheques

With new forms of payment emerging, old ones fall out of use and eventually disappear. The survey respondents stated that they expected paper bank cheques to be the first payment method to become completely obsolete. In the four countries surveyed, 74% of respondents believe that cash will never disappear completely, although 53% of Italians stated they would not miss the option of cash payments. Although half of all respondents agreed that electronic wallets are a modern and practical payment method, the survey results show that this payment tool has yet to be adopted on a wider scale in the various countries.

Check out the Infogram via this link