97% of French people regularly use cash, more than any other means of payment, despite the health crisis and the incentives to use contactless payments.
The French mainly use cash for small everyday purchases (74%, + 7 points compared to May 2020), which shows the importance of this means of payment for small businesses. In addition, 79% of French people are against the disappearance of banknotes and coins (81% in 2019).
According to the latest edition of the IFOP survey for Brink’s France on October 27 and 28, 2020, cash remains the most frequently used means of payment by the French, at 97% (stable since March 2019). While the use of contactless payment has increased by 15 points since March 2019 to reach 86% of the population, it is still far behind the use of cash and its growth has come at the expense of the traditional payment card.
Despite the health crisis, 74% the people of use cash to pay for their daily purchases, very often in their local shops (bread, tobacco, newspapers, etc.). This figure has increased by 7 points since May 2020. Cash is considered “essential” for several reasons: for donations, gifts and tips (for 87% of respondents), in the event of an IT failure (84%), in the event of unexpected situations (84%) or to avoid social exclusion of the most disadvantaged (79%). In addition, 74% of respondents consider that the use of cash avoids sharing their personal data.
For a large majority of respondents, the disappearance of cash is not desirable: 79% of French people object to it (-3 points since 2019). This disappearance of cash would represent a major risk of social exclusion: it would first put the elderly in difficulty (91%), it would put associations and homeless people in difficulty (89%), as well as people without a sufficient Internet connection (87%).
In addition, 87% of people would feel more vulnerable to cyber-attacks if cash were to disappear. According to a survey carried out in October by the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, the progress of contactless and remote payment is not without danger: they are respectively two and seventeen times more subject to fraud than transactions involving a PIN code. As a result, these scams could jump by as much as 20% to more than 660 million euros in 2020.