People with disabilities or low digital literacy or who have difficulty making ends meet particularly value cash. Of all Dutch people, 28% say they cannot do without cash and 7% say they only pay with cash at points of sale, but these percentages are higher for the aforementioned focus groups.Read more
Dutch people are attached to their cash
Published: 25 April 2023
More than 90% of Dutch people think it is important to be able to pay with cash. They find the €20 banknote the most beautiful, and more than two-thirds of respondents said they had never held a banknote in their hands that they doubted was genuine. This is the result of a survey on the use of cash and how it is perceived.
8 out of 10 Dutch people carry cash
The survey, commissioned by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), was conducted in February 2023 among more than 1,000 Dutch respondents. Most Dutch people carry banknotes (79%) and coins (81%), in addition to electronic means of payment such as debit cards. Many people keep coins at home: 36% report having more than 50 coins at home. Furthermore, more than two out of three Dutch people (68%) still expect to pay with cash in five years’ time. At 61%, this expectation is slightly lower among young people (see Figure 1).
The share of cash payments (which stood at 20% in 2022) is expected to decline. 28% of Dutch people expect to pay less often with cash five years from now, and 31% not at all. The main reasons cited were that electronic payments are becoming easier (64%) and the expectation that more and more retailers will refuse to accept cash (15%). Furthermore, 12% already almost never pays cash, and a small group (6%) expresses concern about how difficult it is to find ATMs.
People agreed nearly unanimously when asked whether cash should remain available as a means of payment in the Netherlands. 91% said “yes”. Dutch people aged over 30 were the most likely (93%) to endorse the continued existence of this payment option. Also, 92% of respondents said that they mainly need the four lowest denominations of banknotes (5, 10, 20 and 50 euro) for their own personal use (see Table 1). Demand for the higher denominations is much more limited. This is also evident from the finding that only 11% of Dutch respondents have held a €200 note in the past year, and only 5% a €500 note. Respondents received high-denomination notes as gifts, from ATMs (in many cases abroad) or as payment for goods or services.
High confidence in authenticity
Dutch people have high confidence in the authenticity of euro banknotes, with an average rating of 7.8. Over the past decade, the proportion of the respondents giving a rating of 8 or higher increased from 49% in 2013 to 64% now. Whether they receive euro banknotes from an ATM or as change, confidence in authenticity is high with average ratings of 8.8 (ATM) and 7.7 (change). This high level of confidence partly explains why more than three quarters of Dutch people (77%) say they have not checked a banknote for authenticity in the past year, and 55% say they have never done so. More than two thirds (68%) of the respondents say they have never encountered a suspicious banknote. Euro banknotes have security features to help people distinguish real from counterfeit. 90% of Dutch people can name at least one feature; the watermark (69%) and hologram (38%) are the best known. A quarter of Dutch people who have ever received a suspicious banknote say they do not accept it (21%) or hand it in to the bank (13%), the police (9%) or DNB (7%). In any case, the one thing you should not do in this situation is to pass on the suspicious banknote to someone else. Nevertheless, a small group (13%) report having done so anyway.
€20 banknote is the most beautiful
Banknote quality is generally rated as good (Figure 2). A large majority of Dutch people find €20 (85%) and €50 (89%) banknotes to be fairly to very presentable. However, respondents remain critical of the €5 note. Less than half (41%) think these notes look fairly to very presentable, and no less than 18% report finding €5 notes to be very unpresentable. Half of the respondents find this to be the least beautiful banknote. In contrast, the €20 note is people’s favourite: 31% say this is the most aesthetically pleasing note in the series, followed by the €50 note (17%).
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