Coronavirus, Will it Fuel the Race to the End of Cash?

Even pre-pandemic, many Eurozone nations were already drifting away from cash, and the current global health crisis may fuel that drift.

Social distancing rules and personal consumer concerns have led to new trends and practices. Many have ditched cash for other contact-free transactions initiated online via cards and apps.

And there’s reason to believe this trend will be the new normal as more and more consumers turn to card payments and other digital avenues.

The Pros of Card Transactions

Cards, unlike cash, are a convenient payment method amid corona because they eliminate the need to meet one-on-one, reducing the spread of the deadly virus.

Customers now prefer cards over cash, and merchants have responded by accepting cards more readily.

Convenience is the main driving force behind the drift from cash, and groundbreaking technologies are speeding the shift.

Chip and pin capabilities and the idea of contactless payments are just some of the many ways tech has driven the transformation to cards.

Different nations across Europe have raised their caps on contactless card transactions. UK’s cap has increased from £30 to £45 per transaction. Many other European countries have lifted theirs from €20 or €25, and others, up to €50.

Significant differences in cash use across Europe

It’s true, the Eurozone is ditching cash, but some nations are moving way faster than others.

Scandinavia, for instance, had already embraced a cash-free payment approach, even pre-pandemic. In Sweden, the popularity of cash has dropped significantly over the past few years.

And the pandemic may push other nations to take parallel steps. Stats from the European Central Bank indicates the count of cash-fee payments increased by 7.9 percent in 2018.

Nevertheless, some nations have lugged in the drift from cash. Germany and Italy, for instance, have notably stuck to cash.

Such foot-draggers now have a chance to grow as consumers get used to card payments.

For instance, studies show the use of card payments in Finland exceeds levels in Germany 5 times. The Finnish were also found to use cards six times more than Italians.

Parting Shot

Shifting away from cash can benefit society amid a crisis, and in many other ways, such as ensuring compliance to taxes, increasing convenience, and so on.

It’s hard to imagine a completely cash-free world, but trends are pointing towards it.

Author Bio:- Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of merchant accounts and helps retailers get the best merchant services UK. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.