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Throw Away Your Wallet!

July 11, 2024 | Posted in: Insights

The following graphic shows cash as a percentage of transaction value for various countries and you will note that cash usage ranges from a low of 4% in Norway to a high of 55% in Nigeria. The numbers in red depict the expected decline in cash usage between 2019 and 2027. Transactions not involving cash are conducted using credit or debit cards and digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

While some less-developed countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America still rely heavily on cash, you will note that their percentages are declining rapidly as exemplified by Nigeria where usage has declined from 90% to 55% in just the past four years. While all are not shown on the graphic, four of the ten with the lowest usage are in Scandinavia. At 12%, usage in the U.S. remains higher than that of many industrialized countries.

All of the implications of this trend are not clear. There is concern that it will negatively impact vulnerable populations who do not have access to financial services and/or are not digitally enabled. On the other hand, it may well reduce crime, a great deal of which is conducted outside of the financial system.