Between 2014 and 2015 the number of cash payments dropped from 3.44 billion to 3.19 billion. The total value of these payments dropped from EUR 42 billion to EUR 40 billion. Consumers made more frequent use of their debit cards. The number of debit card payments increased from 2.91 billion to 3.23 billion. This means there were 40 million more debit card payments than cash payments in 2015. The total value of debit card payments rose from EUR 89 billion to EUR 93 billion.
Consumers also use debit cards more often for smallest purchases
Consumers traditionally used their debit cards to pay for bigger ticket purchases, while they frequently used cash to pay for smaller purchases. However, in recent years there has been a clear shift towards using debit cards for the smallest purchases. In 2010 consumers used their debit cards to pay for 11% of purchases under EUR 5, while in 2015 they used this method of payment for 30% of transactions. In addition to the discontinuation of the Chipknip electronic purse system on 1 January 2015, this could also be due to the introduction of contactless payments in 2014. This system allows consumers to make payments by placing their debit card or smartphone in close proximity to the POS terminal, without even needing to enter a PIN code for amounts up to EUR 25. This allows payments to be made much quicker and easier.