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Cash: a traveller’s must-have

Categories : Cash is efficient, Cash is the most widely used payment instrument
July 11, 2017
Tags : Costs of payments, Trust, Universality, Usage, Widespread
Cash is one of the must-have items in the majority of travellers' suitcases. Respondents consider it more cost-effective and a way to avoid the hassle of finding cash machines in a foreign country.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

Summer is here and, for many countries of the world, it is synonym to holidays and travel abroad. But before embarking on a flight or a train, many travellers rush to the bank to retrieve foreign currencies in cash. Indeed, a recent Travel Money Survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence in the UK indicates that a great number of consumers rely exclusively on cash when travelling abroad.

The survey demonstrates that 58% of travellers usually take between £250 and £999 in cash ($320 – 1,290) on their holidays (33% take between £250 and 499 while 26% take more than £500). What’s more, no less than 12% of respondents take more than £1,000 in their suitcase, suggesting that they plan to rely solely on banknotes.   

There are many explanations to this trend. First, many consumers are reluctant to use cards abroad because they do not know how much each transaction will be charged. Indeed, fees are different in every country and for every bank, making it extremely difficult for customers to predict costs. Moreover, fees are usually outrageous – one more reason to leave plastic cards at home. Besides, travellers also use cash as a budget tool. A quarter of respondent declared that they would never consider using their card abroad because they are afraid of spending more than what they planned. The survey suggests that using cash is an effective way of controlling expenses: 53% of respondents had enough cash with them to finish the holidays, while just 26% had to use their card for extra purchases.

Finally, consumers might also worry that their card will not be accepted or simply do not want to lose time looking for the nearest ATM instead of enjoying their visit. In unknown environments such as foreign countries, cash offers a feeling of security and remains the most reliable payment instrument as it is usually accepted anywhere and at any time.

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