Global: How often do consumers use cash? 
January 11th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Global: How often do consumers use cash? 

The rise of credit cards, contactless payments, online portals, and other ways to complete a transaction has – for some years now – led some to foretell the death of cash. YouGov data shows a rather more mixed story.

Ask consumers across 18 global markets if they’ve used cash in the past month, and over a third (35%) say they used it for most transactions – but a similar proportion (37%) say they used it “rarely” or “never”. A further 25% said they paid with cash at least some of the time.


So we can say that, across these 18 markets, cash is certainly not dead. But it is more popular in some countries than others. Indonesia, for example, saw the highest proportion of people using cash, with four in five saying they did so at least most of the time (79%). Mexico has the second highest proportion of people using physical currency (72%), with the UAE coming in third (60%).

At the bottom of the table, just 17% of Canadians said they used cash most of the time in the month before being polled, with 55% saying they used it rarely or never. There isn’t necessarily much consistency according to region here, and the North American countries in our study are a strong example of this: if Mexico is near the top and Canada firmly at the bottom, the US is right in the middle of the pack, with 27% saying they favoured cash recently and 44% saying they did not. The Nordic countries, however, do seem more likely to reject hard currency: just 11% of Danish consumers and 12% of Swedes said they used it a majority of the time in the past month, with 69% of the public in both countries saying they had rarely or never completed transactions with cash in the past month.


YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.  

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