Cash still popular in France despite other pay options


Cash is still widely used in France, with people preferring to use smaller notes

French people are still very likely to use cash to pay for goods, despite the increase in online shopping and the continued development of other, more high-tech forms of payment.


In 2017, the net number of banknotes issued in France – according to the Banque Centrale Nationale – went up to €129 billion, a rise of 7.6% compared to 2016.

The use of coins also went up to €3.5 billion – itself a rise of 4.4% in one year.

This rise can be explained due to high levels of trust in the “variety of uses” for cash, said a statement from the Banque de France, as opposed to other more high-tech forms of payment, such as online shopping, online services such as PayPal, smartphone-enabled “wallets”, or even physical credit and debit card payments.

Yet, the amounts of cash used are still small.

Figures show that 39.7% of withdrawals at cashpoints in France were for €20, and 32.6% for €10.

The average amount taken out at a cashpoint in France is €24.7, and the average transaction amount for a payment in cash in France is only €7.50 – the lowest amount in Europe, on a par with Portugal.

Delphine Lalanne, head of service at the Banque de France, said: “Notes are being used less and less for transactions, even as they remain the favourite means of payment for Europeans when it comes to local shopping. People still have confidence in cash; much of it is simply kept [for future use].”

A European study from 2016 showed that almost one in four Europeans keeps stockpiles of euros at their house, even if they do not spend them.

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