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Cashless push fails in Spain

Categories : Cash is available to all users, Cash is universal
April 6, 2018
Published in : Cashless, Spain
The Government of Cantabria in Spain made an attempt to promote cashless payments, but businesses and the public quickly showed a preference for cash.
Communication Team

The Government of Spain’s autonomous region of Cantabria failed to convince its citizens to switch to cashless payments. The pilot that took place in the town of Suances from 19 October to 10 December 2017 was supported by the government, Cantabria University, Santander Bank and MasterCard.

The purpose of the pilot was to assess potential resistance against digital payments and identify existing technical weaknesses. Interestingly, 30% of businesses reported that they consider costs related to card payments too high and 60% admitted to not promoting card payments because their customers don’t demand it. In fact, only one in five business owners associate digital payments to lower costs. Furthermore, 28% of local retailers function on a “cash only” policy and 17% of them accept cards only when a minimum amount is spent.

This experiment could not have proven the high popularity of cash in Spain more clearly. Indeed, it is by far the most popular payment method in terms of frequency of usage and value regardless of the fact that 87% of consumers own a smartphone. 

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