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The epidemic favored cashless payments in Central and Eastern Europe

According to the V4 and Slovenian citizens, digital payment options have helped to combat the epidemic: 83% of the region’s population is happy with the proliferation of cashless payment options, and one in two people is already explicitly avoiding the use of banknotes, according to a regional study carried out by the Perspective Institute. One third of Hungarians lament cash, while the vast majority in Hungary and the other countries surveyed would oblige merchants to provide cashless payments.

In a survey conducted in a Central and Eastern European country (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia), half of respondents said they had used a card or other digital solution more often since the pandemic. Moreover, almost one in two respondents believed that the digital payment option helped to combat the epidemic. or other digital means, and for the region as a whole, one in two respondents said they would pay cashlessly whenever they could, meaning they would explicitly avoid using banknotes. The top country in this respect is Slovenia, where one in five respondents, if left to it, would get rid of cash altogether and 60 per cent also try not to use cash, while only 6 per cent belong to the “counter-camp”, the group of those who prefer cash

More than 80% of respondents agree that cashless solutions are much more convenient than cash, and almost as many consider electronic payment to be more secure. In each of the countries studied, the two factors mentioned above – comfort and safety – are at the top two of the list of benefits and arguments. (In the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia, the global availability of the service is in third place.)

Surprisingly, the majority of respondents in all countries would be in favor of obliging merchants to provide some form of cashless payment. and agrees with its introduction. (From 1 January 2021, merchants with online cash registers in Hungary will have to provide at least one type of electronic payment, but the majority of Hungarian respondents would extend this obligation even more and impose it on all merchants.) To improve the existing infrastructure it is already leading in Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In Poland and Slovenia, the proportion of supporters of card acceptance is twice as high as those who say there is no need for it, but in the Czech Republic there is also a clear majority in favor of requiring merchants to be offered an alternative to cash payments.

based on the needs of the population, there is not really an area where people would be reluctant to use the credit card, which also shows that in many cases this failure is explained solely by the lack of opportunity. In addition to food purchases and home delivery, there are also a majority of mechanics and home service providers who would require a card or other digital payment option; and when paying bills and in the case of hairdressers and beauticians, this rate is not significantly lower either.
At least two thirds of Czechs would use more of their card in almost all sectors if they could. of how many are unhappy with the cash crunch, only 22 per cent of respondents in the five countries answered yes. Most people in Hungary mourn cash, but in Hungary only about a third of the respondents belong to this circle. (24 per cent would rather get rid of banknotes completely.) Cash-only payers are the least in Slovenia: in all age groups, in all types of settlements and regardless of educational attainment, their share is in single digits.

Research has also shown that one of the possible motivations for clinging to cash has traditionally been tax evasion, and age can also be an important influencing factor: the proportion of older people who use cash only is over 30 percent (!) in all countries. It is also noteworthy that, in addition to age, education can be a barrier to the transition to cashless, digital payment solutions – in Hungary, for example, half of primary school leavers use only cash – which is a good indication of the importance of education on payment solutions

The research was conducted in each country on a sample of 1000 people, each representative of age, gender, place of residence and education, using the CATI method. Data margin of error +/- 3.16%

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