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TALLINN – Forty-eight percent of all payments at points of sale (POS) in Estonia were made with cash in 2016,it appears from a survey by the European Central Bank (ECB).
Cash payments accounted for 31 percent of the total value of POS transactions in Estonia last year.
The survey shows that in the euro area, in terms of number of transactions, cash was most used in the southern euro area countries, as well as in Germany, Austria and Slovenia, where 80 percent or more of POS transactions were conducted with cash. Cash was least used in the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland. The Netherlands was the only euro area country where consumers used payment cards more often than cash in 2016. They carried out 55 percent of all transactions using a payment card, while in Estonia consumers carried out about an equal number of transactions by cash and card, on average
In terms of value, the share of cash was highest in Greece, Cyprus and Malta, above 70 percent, while it was lowest in the Benelux countries, Estonia, France and Finland -- at, or below, 33 percent.
Across the Euro area, in 2016, around 79 percent of all payments at POS were made with cash, 19 percent with cards and 2 percent with other payment instruments. In terms of value, the market share of main payment instruments was 54 percent for cash, 39 percent for cards and 7 percent for other instruments.
The average card transaction value was the highest in Luxembourg, Malta and Germany, where it ranged from 70.78 to 51.38 euros. In contrast, the average card transaction value in the euro area was the lowest in Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia where it ranged from 16.05 to 14.33 euros, indicating that consumers in these countries use cards for relatively low-value payments.
Consumers in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland and Estonia made the highest number of card payments per person per day, with 0.8, 0.6 and 0.5 payments per day, respectively. This is equal to 5.3, 4.1 and 3.8 payments per week, respectively.
In Estonia, the average size of a cash payment was slightly over 10 euros and the average size of a card payment approximately 15 euros. The average sise of payments using other payment instruments was 80 euros.
Residents of Estonia made on the average 0.5 cash payments and 0.5 bankcard payments per day.
In Latvia cash transactions accounted for 71 percent of the number of POS transactions and 54 percent of the value of transactions. The ratios for Lithuania were 75 and 62 percent, respectively.