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Denmark is not heading for a cashless society

by Guillaume Lepecq | Jan 05, 2018

Cash is trustThe Danish Central Bank has conducted a survey of the payment behaviour of Danish households in the Spring of 2017. The findings were published in December in 2017. The report concludes that while cash usage is declining and is expected to continue to do so in the future, Denmark is not becoming cashless and Danes will be able to use and hold cash in the future.

Here are some key take-aways from the report :

  • 23% of the volume of point-of-sale transactions are settled in cash. In the euro-zone the figure is 79%.16% of the value of point-of-sale transactions are carried out in cash. In the euro-zone the corresponding figure is 54%.
  • Cash usage tends to increase with age: 15-29 year-olds use cash for 9% of payments ; 70-79 year-olds use it for 40%
  • Cash is more widely used for low-value payments. The average cash payment is worth DKR 182 (EUR 24.44) versus 294 (EUR 39.49) for card payments.
  • Cash savings are more commonplace in Denmark than in the euro-zone. Approximately 34% of Danes store cash for savings versus 24% in the euro-zone excluding Germany. 14% of hold over DKR 10,000 (EUR 1,343).
  • 96% of the population estimate that they are rarely or never prevented from paying in cash. According to Danish legislation, physical stores are obliged to accept cash as long as they are staffed. New legislation will relax these rules in 2018 and allow stores to decline cash payments at night.
  • 50% of the population consider that it would be problematic if there were no cash.

The report concludes «Danmarks Nationalbank expects that the use of cash as a means of payment will continue to decline as more Danes are expected to choose to live without using cash in the future. However, Denmark is not heading for a cashless society. Citizens who wish to hold cash will still have the option to do so.»

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