No. 576 - Regional differences in retail payment habits in Italy

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by Guerino Ardizzi, Elisa Bonifacio, Cristina Demma and Laura PainelliSeptember 2020

We study which factors are associated with the territorial heterogeneity, between the Centre and North and the southern regions, in the use of non-cash payment instruments. We focus on the 2013-2018 period, when there was a widespread increase in non-cash transactions among the main advanced economies, spurred by technological innovation and the new legal framework supporting security, efficiency and transparency in digital payments.

We find that the main factors associated with a lower demand for cash are technological innovation in payments and the population’s digital skills and education levels; criminality and tax evasion are significantly and positively correlated to the use of cash, but their impact is lower compared with the other factors.

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