How is cash ranked throughout Europe?

How is cash ranked throughout Europe?

Many psychological studies conclude that payment methods matter, and cash is the most effective way of making a purchase… so we want to understand how cash is ranked throughout Europe!

You’d think that the pandemic would have accelerated our journey to a cashless society… but it seems not everyone is ready to completely let go of cash transactions in Europe. So, let’s take a deeper look into the top European countries that rely on cash.

The top European countries that rely on cash:

1. Romania

  • Cash Transactions: 78%
  • Population Unbanked: 42%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 64

2. Bulgaria

  • Cash Transactions: 63%
  • Population Unbanked: 28%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 84

3. Ukraine

  • Cash Transactions: 60%
  • Population Unbanked: 37%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 96

4. Hungary

  • Cash Transactions: 45%
  • Population Unbanked: 25%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 61

5. Czech Republic

  • Cash Transactions: 44%
  • Population Unbanked: 19%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 58

6. Slovakia

  • Cash Transactions: 41%
  • Population Unbanked: 16%
  • Number of ATMs (per 100,000): 62


With over 70% of payments made in cash, it seems Romania is revealed as the European country most reliant on physical cash. With nearly half (42%) of the Eastern European country population unbanked, it does demonstrate that many of their citizens are still prepared to cling to notes and coins!

Some countries don’t like cash at all though! Take Norway for example, only 3% of their transactions are made using cash. Interestingly the research also notes that there are 32 ATMs per 1000 adults and 100% of the population has a bank account.

So, what makes cash so reliable?

1. Paying with cash is satisfying

There’s just something about paying for things with cash that changes a shopper’s actions. A study conducted by Professor Avni M. Shah indicates that paying with cash is a way to add positive emotion to transactions which promotes satisfaction in spending behaviour.

2. Cash makes you a conscious buyer

Using cash helps you to avoid impulse purchasing. A consumer psychology study performed on a thousand households indicated that people who paid with cash spent less and had a healthy proportion of products in their basket.

3. You never have to worry with cash

We all know how unpredictable machines can be, it can be embarrassing when you’re at the till and your card isn’t working. So having a trusty note with you will also secure your shopping and dignity.

4. Cash can help you budget

Cash can be a great way to avoid overspending at the shops. Carrying a specific amount of cash will stop you spending extra when your wallet/purse is empty, helping you to stay on budget.

For more on these points, check out this blog:

There are many reasons why cash will stick around, and they all come down to the physical feeling of security and satisfactory… not to mention some countries’ currencies are works of art! We’ve written a blog examining the symbolism of banknotes around the globe and diving into potential hidden meanings that may change the way you look at currency. So, if you’d find this fascinating, head over to our blog: “Symbolism of banknotes around the globe

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