Despite tech advances is cash still the most preferred payment option on international trips?
October 31st, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Despite tech advances is cash still the most preferred payment option on international trips?

Data from a recent YouGov survey, conducted across 17 international markets, offers a glimpse into the evolving landscape of consumer choices on payment preferences for international trips. Cash and credit cards remain at the forefront, yet differences emerge across diverse global markets.

Cash and credit cards are equally favored with 42% of overall respondents saying they are likely to use these payment options on their next international trip. Debit cards follow at 30%, while pre-paid cards and multi-currency e-wallets are selected by 11% and 15% of all respondents, respectively.

Examining individual markets, we find that Hong Kong stands out with a strong preference for credit cards (71%). Cash is also highly favored in the country with around two-thirds (67%) of respondents opting for it. Singapore registers a substantial share of consumers who show a preference for both cash (66%) and credit cards (60%). Around a third of consumers in both these markets say they would use multi-currency e-wallets (33%), the highest of all the places we polled in.

On their next international trip urban Indians are as likely to use multi-currency e-wallets (33%) as cash (32%) and debit cards (37%). Credit cards outpace the other payment options but only marginally (43%).

Cash remains the most popular choice of payment method for Britons on an international trip (45%), followed by debit cards (39%) and credit cards (36%). The options of pre-paid cards (12%) and multi-currency e-wallets (9%) are not as popular among these consumers.

Respondents in Sweden exhibit a significant preference for debit cards (49%), along with cash (52%). However, in Denmark fewer than a third of consumers say they would use debit cards (28%), preferring to instead opt for credit cards (59%).

Of all the markets surveyed, pre-paid cards are the most popular choice among consumers in Italy (26%) and UAE (21%). Over a quarter of UAE residents also cite multi-currency e-wallets as a possible option for their next international holiday (28%).

Roughly half of all Canadian respondents say they would most likely use credit cards on their next overseas trip (53%). And while nearly a third of US adults also pick credit cards (34%) and a quarter (25%) pick cash, the US is the only market in this survey where more than half of consumers (51%) don’t see themselves going on an international trip.

The global payment landscape for international travel unveils stark differences in preferences, with each market showcasing its unique payment habits. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding regional payment preferences when catering to travelers worldwide.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2000 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in August 2023. 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 Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Getty Images