Cyprus and Greece top the list of eurozone countries where people still prefer to pay with cash, casting doubt over the claim that plastic is replacing paper in money transactions.
According to a 2017 annual report by the European Central Bank (ECB), 88% of transactions in the Republic of Cyprus in 2016 were carried out using cash. The same exact percentage of cash transactions was also true in Greece.
The cash transactions in Cyprus represented 72% of the value spent, while it was 75% in Greece.
Consumers in member states in the northern regions of the EU show very different habits, with the value of cash transactions not going above 27% in Holland, 28% in France, 32 in Belgium, and 55% in Germany.
Only one third of payments below €5 were carried out using a credit or debit card
The value of transactions in countries most heavily relying on paper, after Cyprus and Greece, include Malta with 74%, as well as Italy, Spain and Slovenia with 68%.
Cash was more popular among eurozone countries with transactions up to €45, while cards were used more often for amounts above that threshold.
Only one third of payments below €5 were carried out using a credit or debit card and only two thirds for amounts under €15.
The study also included some qualitative data, showing that 32% or survey respondents said they preferred cash, while 43% said they prefer cards or other non-cash payment methods, and 25% said they had no preference.
The question whether cash is still king may still be partially unanswered in Cyprus, as it is not known exactly whether mobile payments are not as popular due to lack of interest or lack of availability and user-friendliness.