By Kerry Close
December 14, 2016

Even as mobile payments and bitcoin rise in popularity, new research has found that cash is still the most popular form of payment.

Cash dominates the payments world among consumers in seven countries, according to the study published in the International Journal of Central Banking. In the study, researchers compared data on payment choices in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S.

There are some differences in how people pay for goods across the different countries. Though Americans primarily use cash—accounting for 46% of all transactions—they use it less than residents of other countries. Germans and Austrians, meanwhile, carry around and use the most cash, while the Dutch rely on debit cards. Paper checks are also still prevalent in France and the U.S.

Cash is primarily used for small transactions, and is used in one or two transactions per day. Since it’s used for low-value purchases, it makes up a small share of the total value of transactions in most countries. In all countries studied except cash-reliant Germany and Austria, the average consumer carried about $30 at a time.

The value of dollars and euros in circulation has doubled since 2005, according to Bloomberg. Though some of that growth can be attributed to demand for these currencies in foreign countries, it also could be a result of people continuing to carry around cash.

There are also a number of benefits associated with using cash: Studies have shown that people tend to appreciate the value of their money more, and as result, spend less when they’re paying with green.


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