Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?
Anneke Kosse and
Lola Hernandez ()
DNB Occasional Studies from Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department
Having accurate information on cash usage is essential for monitoring the substitution process of cash by cards and for assessing the cost efficiency of the payment system. Moreover, estimates on cash usage reflect the transaction demand for cash. This is useful for central banks which are responsible for producing and issuing banknotes. The latest estimates of the number and value of cash payments made in the Netherlands date from 2007. How has cash usage developed since then? In what branches do consumers use cash and what type of consumers still rely heavily on cash? These questions and others are analysed using a one-day diary survey held in September 2010 in which 7,499 Dutch consumers documented their daily transactions. We find that Dutch consumers made about 5 billion cash payments in 2010. Although the majority of purchases are paid in cash, its role has steadily decreased due to increasing debit card usage. Cash is mainly used for low-value transactions, and especially the elderly and lower educated people still rely heavily on cash. Overall, the Dutch are able to pay the way they want. Only in 3% of transactions they had no choice but to use another means of payment as the one preferred.
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