Mastercard: The Future Is Cashless

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According to a recent report by MasterCard Advisers (part of MasterCard, provides insights and solutions that drive business impact and ROI.), more and more nations adopt the cashless payment systems in all of their transactions, all while dropping the use of good old trusted cash.

The report tracked 33 world economies moving fast to become cashless societies. It measured nations’ progress towards more modern, efficient payment processes by looking at the current share of cash versus cashless / non-cash payments for consumers, how this share has shifted in the past 5 years, and whether conditions exist for cash payments to move to electronic.

Key findings:

According to Mastercard, our Future Is Cashless

According to Mastercard, our Future Is Cashless

  • In 2011, 34% ($21 trillion) of total global consumer spend was done with cash, with cashless payments accounting for 66% ($42 trillion).
  • Top countries leading the the broad movement away from cash to the uptake of new cashless payment technologies (i.e. mobile, contactless, EMV Chip) are: Belgium (with estimated 93% cashless consumer spend ), France (92%), Canada (90%), the UK (89%), Sweden (89%), Australia (86%) and the Netherlands (85%).
  • Countries such as the United States (where an estimated 80% of the value of consumer spend was cashless) and Singapore (69%) are approaching the “tipping point” to becoming nearly cashless, and remaining cash use is largely a product of consumer habit.
  • Emerging economies such as Indonesia (31%), Russia (31%) and Egypt (7%) are just embarking on their cashless journey, but are in many cases changing cash share of payments at a much faster pace than developed nations.
  • Countries such as Brazil (57%), Poland (41%) and South Africa (43%) are now in a transitioning stage, and are quickly shifting share away from cash.
  • in countries such as Germany (where an estimated 76% of the value of consumer spend was cashless), Japan (62%), Spain (54%) and Taiwan (43%), cultural behavior appears to be keeping cash usage higher than market conditions would suggest.
  • The most rapid recent shift away from cash was observed in China, where cash share of the value of consumer payments is estimated to have declined by as much as 20% between 2006 and 2011.
  • China & UAE are fastest nations adopting cashless payment systems

    China (where an estimated 55% of the value of consumer spend was cashless) and the United Arab Emirates (26%) are among a group of countries where the respective governments have taken strong leadership in promoting electronic payments to support their social and economic goals.

  • Kenya (27%) is an example where disruptive technology is contributing the most to decrease cash share of consumer spend.

Photos copyright: Flickr / Thomas Hawk

1 reply
  1. krista cc
    krista cc says:

    I hardly ever carry cash with me anymore. I’m always afraid of losing it or getting mugged. If my credit cards get stolen, companies will protect me. That’s something I can be thankful for… good times.

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