Dutch Central Bank worried: less than 4 in 10 payments made with cash

Dutch Central Bank worried: less than 4 in 10 payments made with cash

According to new figures from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Dutch Payments Association, only 39 percent of payments since May have been made using cash. The DNB is worried, as a cashless society is vulnerable.

Cashless Dutch society vulnerable

With the new figures, the goal of having 60 percent of the population use an electronic payment method has been met. Banks and payment service providers set this goal in 2014. At the time, 60 percent of payments were made with cash.

In spite of the achievement of this previously set goal, the DNB is concerned. The Cash Division Director at DNB, Coen Voormeulen, states “many people have trouble paying by card, such as the elderly and the visually impaired. There are also 2,5 million people who are functionally illiterate.” Voormeulen also points out the risks of being hacked and subject to technical glitches.

The DNB wants agreements to be made regarding the acceptance of cash between banks, the retail industry, the government and interest groups. According to the DNB, cash must remain an acceptable form of payment.

Currently, a few municipalities, such as Leiden and Amersfoort, no longer accept cash as payment for driver’s licenses and passports. The Central Bank posits that interest groups could go to court if it is not possible for one to pay somewhere with cash. 

Paying by card instead of cash

The amount of payments made by cash or card varies greatly depending on the age of the person doing the purchasing and the sector in which something is being bought. Purchases made on the street, such as markets, are done using cash in 75 percent of cases. Paying by card is, however, gaining ground, and this year in the hospitality sector, more purchases were made by card than with cash.

There is a difference, of course, in age groups and behaviours when it comes to paying by cash or card. Those between the ages of 19 and 24 pay for 77 percent of their purchases by card. This stands in stark contrast with those 75 and above, who pay for 61 percent of their purchases with cash.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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