They say that cash is king, but newer and more convenient payment methods are gunning for the crown.
These days, more and more countries are adopting cashless payments, which includes credit card purchases, contactless payments, mobile banking apps and digital options like Apple Pay. To see which countries were adopting cashless the quickest, Forex, a global travel site, conducted a study comparing 20 of the world’s largest economies.
In the report, Canada was singled out as the country most embracing cashless technology, which could be attributed to its population changing attitudes that began several years ago. A recent survey in May found that 50% of Canadians are ready to get rid of banknotes and coins. While a 2013 MasterCard survey found 90% of the total value of consumer payments in Canada were made through noncash methods.
Cashless payments are becoming more and more popular every year.
While Canada took the top spot on this list, Sweden wasn’t far behind. Of all of the places moving towards becoming a totally cashless society, many believe that Sweden will do it first. In fact, some places in the country have already banned the use of cash, including trams, buses, many shops and most cafes. Even more surprising, 900 of Sweden’s 1,600 banks won’t even let customers deposit or withdraw cash.
The UK rounded out the top three, where the use of contactless payments is growing fast. In 2016, £9.27 billion ($12.29 USD) was spent using contactless methods between January 2016 and June 2016 alone. That was up from £7.75 billion ($10.27 USD) in 2015, during the same period.
After France, the United States ranked No. 5 on the list of countries adopting cashless payments. As we all know, the U.S. has a love affair with credit, and Forex says the average person owns three different credit cards. Perhaps this is why only 32% of retail transactions in 2015 involved cash, according to the Federal Reserve. One thing holding America back from becoming completely cashless, is fear. A report from YouGov, an internet research company, found that 56% of U.S. adults feel mobile payments increase the chances of fraud and theft.
For this study, Forex looked at six metrics including cashless payment growth, the number of debit and credit cards owned per person, and payments made using noncash methods.
Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance.