Cashless Journey - Mastercard Ranks 33 Countries

A new report from MasterCard Advisors, The Cashless Journey, explores the evolution of consumer payment patterns in 33 countries representing 85% of global GDP.  Across the study sample a total of $63 trillion in consumer payments is split $21 trillion (34%) in cash and $42 trillion (66%) non-cash payments as of 2011.

The study measures share of cash and non-cash payments for each country, trajectory between 2006 and 2011, and readiness for future conversion.  Based on scoring the countries are grouped into 4 categories: 

  • Nearly Cashless: includes Belgium (93%), France (92%), Canada (90%) the UK (89%), and Australia (86%).
  • Tipping Point:  United States (80%) and Singapore (69%) are approaching the “tipping point” to becoming nearly cashless, with remaining habitual cash usage.
  • Transitioning: Countries like Brazil (57%) and Thailand (41%)
  • Inception:  Emerging economies Indonesia (31%), Russia (31%), Egypt (7%).

Besides the level of adoption, the study ranks China and the UAE as the fastest changing payment ecosystems.  This is attributed to government promotion of electronic payment systems to support economic and social goals.
According to the research, readiness to move to a cashless society is determined by factors like the accessibility and affordability of financial services; the scale and market share of retailers; the level of technology that is available; and participation of consumers in the formal economy.

The shift toward cashless payments is expect to bring more convenience for consumers, better efficiencies for governments, higher productivity for businesses, and greater financial inclusion.
For a more detailed summary try the Mastercard Newsroom

To review the interactive infographics, including links to the core report and individual country reports, click here.