The importance of cash
Banknotes and coins continue to be the most common means of payment in Spain, according to the latest annual survey (for 2017) by the Banco de España. 53% of the Spanish population use cash as their main means of payment, followed by debit cards (41%) and credit cards (6%). Although this percentage has been decreasing in recent years, the reasons for using cash continue to be the same:
- Convenience (48%)
- Ease of controlling expenses (32%)
- Low cost (11%).
Not only in Spain, but also in other euro area countries, banknotes and coins are the instrument most commonly used by consumers at points of sale: according to a recent European Central Bank survey, 79% of transactions in the euro area in 2016 were in cash, accounting for 54% of the total amount. In Spain these figures were even higher: 87% of the total number of transactions were in cash, or 68% in terms of amount.
According to the same survey, the average value of cash transactions was €12.38 in the euro area as a whole and €8.8 in Spain. In general, cash is the preferred means of payment for transactions below €45.
Are we facing the imminent disappearance of cash from our daily lives, due to replacement by other means of payment, such as digital money? In view of these results, it seems that banknotes and coins still play an important role in our daily payments.