No. 481 - The use of cash in Italy: evidence from the ECB Study on the Use of Cash by Households

The study investigates the use of cash and other payment instruments at points of sale (POS) in Italy. Data from the Italian sample of the Study on the Use of Cash by Households (SUCH) survey, conducted by the ECB in 2016, were analysed to estimate the number and value of cash transactions at POS and to collect information on consumer behaviour in choosing payment instruments.

The results show that around 86 per cent of payments were made in cash, 13 per cent with cards and 1 per cent with other payment instruments. Cash was mainly used for low-value payments, whereas other instruments were used more frequently for higher value transactions. The significant use of cash is explained by the fact that only transactions at POS, where the value of payments is typically low, were recorded in the diaries.

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