92 per cent of all transactions in Malta involve physical cash, according to a new study carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB).
The figure for Malta is almost matched by Greece and Cyprus at 88 per cent each. At the other end of the scale lie the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland, where transactions involving notes and coins range between 45 and 55 per cent.
The ECB surveyed 65,000 people across the Eurozone for ten months, up till July 2016. Its findings highlighted how the method of payments among EU member states varies greatly, however the use of cash is still prevalent.
A correlation was found between the use of cash at Point of Sales and the level of card acceptance in the country. This is supported by the case of Malta and other southern European countries where the use of cash is among the highest in the Eurozone while ‘perceived card acceptance’ is low.
The average card transaction value was found to be highest in Luxembourg, followed by Malta and Germany. The highest average values ranged from €70.78 to €51.38.
The study confirmed that cash is not only used as a means of payment, but also as a store of value, with almost a quarter of consumers keeping some cash at home as a precautionary reserve. It also shows that more people than often thought use high denomination banknotes; almost 20 per cent of respondents reported having a €200 or €500 banknote in their possession in the year before the survey was carried out.