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The use of cash by households in the euro area

Author

Listed:
  • Esselink, Henk
  • Gijsel, Lola Hernandez-van

Abstract

Although euro banknotes and coins have been in circulation for fifteen years, not much is known about the actual use of cash by households. This paper presents an estimation of the number and value of cash transactions in all 19 euro area countries in 2016, based on survey results. It presents an extensive description of how euro area consumers pay at points of sale (POS). The aim of this study is to shed light on consumers’ payment behaviour and in particular to improve the understanding of consumers’ payment choices at POS, based on a large sample of countries. Therefore, it provides central banks and relevant payment system stakeholders with fundamental information for the development of their policies and strategic decisions that can contribute to improving the efficiency of the cash cycle and the payment system as a whole. Previous estimates of the value of cash usage by households in the euro area date from 2008. Since then some central banks have carried out their own research on cash usage. This paper is the first study to measure the transaction demand for cash in the euro area. The results show that in 2016 around 79% of all payments at POS were made with cash, 19% with cards and 2% with other payment instruments. In terms of value, the market share of main payment instruments was 54% for cash, 39% for cards and 7% for other instruments. However, results show substantial differences between euro area countries. JEL Classification: E41, E58, D12, D14

Suggested Citation

  • Esselink, Henk & Gijsel, Lola Hernandez-van, 2017. "The use of cash by households in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 201, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:2017201
    Note: 610969
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpops/ecb.op201.en.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carin van der Cruijsen & Lola Hernandez & Nicole Jonker, 2017. "In love with the debit card but still married to cash," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(30), pages 2989-3004, June.
    2. Arango-Arango, Carlos A. & Bouhdaoui, Yassine & Bounie, David & Eschelbach, Martina & Hernandez, Lola, 2018. "Cash remains top-of-wallet! International evidence from payment diaries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 38-48.
    3. Klee, Elizabeth, 2008. "How people pay: Evidence from grocery store data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 526-541, April.
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    6. John Bagnall & David Bounie & Kim P. Huynh & Anneke Kosse & Tobias Schmidt & Scott Schuh, 2016. "Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 1-61, December.
    7. Lola Hernandez & Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse, 2017. "Cash versus Debit Card: The Role of Budget Control," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 91-112, March.
    8. Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie, 2012. "Modeling the Share of Cash Payments in the Economy: An Application to France," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 175-195, December.
    9. Whitesell, William C, 1989. "The Demand for Currency versus Debitable Accounts: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 246-257, May.
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    11. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse & Lola Hernández, 2012. "Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?," DNB Occasional Studies 1002, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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    13. Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie, 2012. "Modeling the Share of Cash Payments in the Economy: An Application to France," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 175-195, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash; consumer choice; money demand; payment behaviour; payment systems;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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