Recent research by ForexBonuses.org shows cashless options are growing quickly in some countries. They looked at the 20 top economies and spending habits based on available data and the overall weighted average was compiled for rankings.
Researchers used six criteria in measuring top cashless countries: number of credit and debit cards per person; number of cards with contactless functionality; growth of cashless payments in past five years; payments made with non-cash methods; and awareness of mobile payment options.
Canada tops overall, Sweden uses cashless most
Canada, with more than two credit cards per person ranked highest overall with a score of 6.48/10.
Sweden rated a close second with 6.47/10 score and 59% of consumers who completed cashless transactions – the highest of countries surveyed.
Riksbank said 70 million fewer banknotes were in circulation in Sweden than just four years earlier. Fortune reported the infrastructure for handling cash may be challenged as “No cash accepted” signs are visible in many restaurants and stores. Legislators are now looking at the problem as concerns for elderly, unbanked and unplugged consumers are rising.
UK and France ranked number 3 & 4
47% of British consumers said they knew what mobile payment options were available, making the UK third highest with a score of 6.42/10. France finished fourth with 39% of its cards featuring contact-less technology and scoring 6.25/10.
US likes credit cards, China mobile
With more than three credit cards per person, the US ranked fifth at 5.87/10. China experienced the fastest growth in mobile payments in the past five years and a score of 5.17/10.
Aussies prefer debit
Australians proved interested with debit cards most popular and 1.7 cards per person and score of 4.92/10. In Germany, one-third of all payments are cashless, and a score of 4.14/10 placed the country eighth.
Japanese clinging to cash
Japanese consumers still prefer cash but 26% of cards now have contactless functions resulting in ninth place and a score of 3.12/10.
Finally, though 57% of Russians are ready for cashless options, lower usage resulted in a score of 1.95/10 and tenth place in rankings.
You can read ForexBonuses.org’s report here.
Another perspective on cashless societies
The VisualCapitalist.com has an excellent chart with some additional data on cashless payments, credit, debit, and contactless cards. Note, this data set is mostly 2014 and 2015 but still provides additional insight.
Bottom of the rung were Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Peru and Egypt at 1% of cashless transactions.