A study conducted by the European Central Bank showed that cash remains very popular in the euro area, equal to 79% of the transactions made in stores. Huge differences remain between countries, however.
In France, cash usage is one of the lowest (68%) behind Luxembourg (45%), Belgium (63%), Finland (54%), Estonia (48%) and The Netherlands (45%). Indeed, euro notes are mostly used to pay for smaller transactions: the average is 12.4€ in euro zone, but drops to 7.5€ in France.
Still in France, 90% of the transactions under 5€ are made with cash. Although small retailers accept credit card payments for lower amounts, credit cards have become predominant for purchases starting at 20€. The higher the price, the lower the cash usage: this is partly due to the capping of cash payments in the Hexagon. The maximum an individual can pay a retailer or a professional for a service is 1000€. Cheque books, which are still commonly used in France, also compete with cash above 45€.
If they could choose the payment method to use in a shop, 32% of people in the euro area would rather use cash over cards or other non-cash payment methods. France comes in last with only 17% of cash enthusiasts.
If cash usage varies across countries, every person is also different: at a rate of 72.2%, men tend to pay with cash more than women (67.4%), as well as people aged 55 – 64 years (73.4%) compared to people under 40 years (64%). Because paying with cash helps them keep track of their expenses, people with lower incomes such as workers, retirees and homemakers usually prefer this payment method.
To read the entire study, please click on the link: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpops/ecb.op201.en.pdf