Cash makes a comeback in Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year and 1 month ago

The most recent (Spring 2023) "Payment Radar" report from the Latvian central bank (Latvijas Banka, LB) suggests that the ratio between non-cash and cash payments in Latvia was 67% to 33% in February 2023.

The Payment Radar report uses results of the population survey conducted by a market and social research agency SIA Latvijas Fakti.

In February 2023 compared to August 2022, the use of cash actually increased. Half a year ago, this ratio was 71% to 29% (a year ago, in February 2022, the ratio between non-cash and cash payments stood at 74% to 26%). In February 2023, the average number of payments made by one inhabitant per week had reached a historical peak when this measurement was taken – 14.3 (12.6 in August 2022 and 12.8 in February 2022).

In February 2023, 33% of respondents used instant payments on a daily basis (31% in August 2022, 30% in February 2022), 16% of those surveyed had made payments via smartphones (14% in August 2022, 13% in February 2022), but 63% of respondents – with a contactless card (66% in August 2022, 61% in February 2022).

"As usual, younger people are more likely to use innovative payment methods. It is worth pointing out that four years ago, only 4% of the Latvian population used a smartphone as a payment instrument. The hypothesis that bank customers trust and are willing to use new technological solutions is once again confirmed," said Aigars Freimanis, Director of SIA Latvijas Fakti.

"Despite the high rate of inflation, the financial behaviour of the Latvian population has not changed significantly. On average, every adult in Latvia makes 14.3 payments per week, either in cash or non-cash form. For many years now, non-cash payments, i.e. payments made with all types of payment cards and online, have dominated. Cash payments remain stable, with 33% of payments made using cash. This figure rises or falls slightly depending on the time of measuring, but any fluctuations are within the statistical margin of error," added Freimanis.

The sociological survey data and detailed information are available at https://www.bank.lv/maksajumu-radars.

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