Europeans now more inclined to pay with cash alternatives

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 4 minute read

4 minute read

Experiences surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic have made Europeans more inclined to pay using alternatives to cash. This is confirmed by almost 80% of the participants in the study “Has COVID-19 affected European shopping habits?” commissioned by EVO Payments in 7 European countries. The data also shows that Europeans are looking forward to lifting the Covid restrictions in order to travel more, visit pubs and restaurants and meet up with friends and relatives. The Irish welcome this the most and hope that the pandemic will end as early as the first half of 2022. 

The international survey of more than 3,500 respondents in Ireland, UK, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany. The aim was to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic affected shopping habits and payment behaviour in different European countries and what the shopping habits of Europeans look like after the pandemic.

Results in Europe

  • 21% of the respondents are Cash-Oriented Traditionalists. They believe that in such uncertain times it is better not to keep money in banks. 32% claim that the pandemic has encouraged them to shop online but in the future they don’t want to pay using cashless means exclusively. While they are least likely to pay by card but they do intend to use payment cards more often than before the pandemic, both traditional cards (16%) and those in a virtual wallet on a phone (15%).
  • Payment Switchers. They pay in both cash, cards and other electronic methods. One in three of them believe that people will still be using cash 10 years from now. The experience of the pandemic sees them buying online more often.
  • The third segment (31% of respondents) are Modern Contactless Payers. They strongly prefer to pay using electronic methods, with a majority saying this method will dominate in the future. They find cash unhygienic and often give up the purchase of goods or services where cash is the only payment option. They are also optimistic believing that the worst of the pandemic is over.

Representatives from all the three segments admit they want to shop ‘physically’ more often once the pandemic has ended.

Results in Ireland

Compared to Europe, the Irish appear to be the most optimistic about the future. A third believe that “normal life” (without restrictions) will return as early as the first half of 2022. This is a much higher percentage than in other countries. Interestingly, Irish Cash-Oriented Traditionalists are more optimistic than other groups about the end of the pandemic. They more often think it will come sooner.

Although travelling, visiting pubs and restaurants and socialising are the most frequently cited activities that Europeans want to enjoy immediately after the restrictions are lifted, the Irish indicate them even more strongly. This is particularly evident among the Modern Contactless Payers and Payment Switchers.

“The Irish have been severely affected by the isolation that the pandemic forced upon us. It has changed the way we shop and pay for goods, which is why when we are able return to our favourite activities after the eagerly awaited full lifting of restrictions, most of us will be using cards and other forms of cashless payments more often than before. As shown in our study, the Irish also admit that the ability to pay conveniently and securely by card may encourage them to spend more in supermarkets (23% of respondents), on beauty treatment and services (16%) and in garages (15%). This is further evidence of our positive approach to card payments, which sets us apart from other European nations. For BOIPA, this is great motivation to give sellers and buyers an even better experience with the services they have come to like,” said Brian Cleary, Managing Director at BOI Payment Acceptance.

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