The Dutch Payments Association and De Nederlandsche Bank performed a joint study into consumer payment behaviour in 2013. Dutch consumers made 3.8 billion cash payments both in 2012 and in 2013. The total value of these payments dropped from EUR 50 billion to EUR 47 billion. In addition, the Dutch again made more payments using their debit cards than before. Their number grew from 2.5 billion in 2012 to 2.7 billion in 2013, with the value of sales rising from EUR 84 billion to EUR 85 billion.
Economic crisis causes decline in cash payments to level off
|Date||23 December 2014|
In 2013, Dutch consumers made the same number of payments with banknotes and coins as in 2012, breaking the downward trend in the number of purchases paid in cash. This may have to do with the economic crisis, which had the severest impact on household purses in 2013. The lower their income and the less consumers have to spend, the more they prefer to pay their purchases in cash
The crisis has been raging for a few years now, but it had the severest impact on household purses in 2013. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), low-income households had to make larger sacrifices in 2013 than before. Household income largely determines point-of-sale (POS) payment preferences, with those on low incomes preferring to pay their purchases cash, whereas high-income individuals favour debit card payments. This could explain why the downward trend in the number of purchases paid in cash has come to a standstill.
Use of cash for day-to-day shopping has stabilised
For those who do not have much to spend and need to keep an eye on their budgets, carrying cash is often a good way of keeping track of spending. This seems to have been the case in 2013 in particular in sectors for day-to-day shopping, such as supermarkets and food specialty shops. They have seen the use of cash remain the same or even increase slightly, whereas debit card use has gone up in other sectors. Also, consumers that do not have much to spend tend to hunt for bargains more, going from one shop to another (note 1). The increase in bargain hunting in 2013 appears from the lower average transaction amount for cash payments.
To read the full findings of the joint DNB and Dutch Payments Association study into the use of cash and debit cards in the Netherlands in 2013, click on this link to the factsheet 'Paying at the till in 2013'. It contains background data on the use of cash and debit cards generally, and broken down by transaction amount, sector and demographics, as well as consumer preferences with regard to cash or debit cards and their attitudes towards contactless payments.
Note 1: Source: Nederland bezuinigt: Onderzoek naar de bezuinigingsstrategieën van Nederlanders, NIBUD, april 2013