Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news
While worldwide politics may be taking the main news headlines this week, our main focus is cash. We are looking at how, why and where the use of cash is in decline, and what consumers are turning to as an alternative. Our main features this week include: Norway consumers fast evolving away from cash, the ATM industry once again looks to be taking a downturn, and the digital wallet continues to be on the rise globally.
Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.
- Cash payments plummet to just 4% of transactions in Norway
- ATM cash withdrawals drop 46% as digital payments grab market share
- E-commerce and digital payments set for major growth in 2021 across the MENAP region
Recent research from the Norwegian central bank has revealed that merchants declining cash payments is the main protagonist for the severe lack of cash payments in the country. Only 4% of all consumers surveyed are using paper tender to pay for goods and services. However, regardless of these findings, the central bank is still in no rush to introduce a digital currency.
Ida Wolden Bache, Deputy Governor of Norges Bank said: "The prospective introduction of a CBDC is still some way off.The lack of urgency reflects our view so far that there is no acute need to introduce a CBDC. The introduction of a CBDC could have considerable consequences in a number of areas. Our decision must be well-informed. Introducing a CBDC will involve such a substantial change in the monetary system that it will require a political decision. It could also involve the question of whether the Central Bank Act would have to be amended."
According to data compiled in the second quarter of 2020 by payments firm, Wallter and retail payment authority, Pay.UK, the events of 2020 have caused a considerable decrease in cash withdrawals from ATMs. In comparison to Q2 2019, the data showed a 46.7% year-on-year decline. The most significant declines were seen in March, April and May which aligns with the beginning of the UK lockdown.
A large contributor to the decline of cash withdrawals, is the decline of the volume of ATMs available. The number of ATMs in Europe fell by 11,461 in the first half of 2020, as published by the European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST) and the trend of decommissioning ATMs does not look likely to slow.
According to The Connected Payments in MENAP report, e-commerce and digital payments are due to show huge advancements in 2021. Checkout.com conducted a survey of 5,000 consumers in September of this year across 8 MENAP countries.
Almost half of all respondents said that it is likely that the amount of online shopping they do will increase over the next year, with 15% saying the reverse. 38% saw no change in their frequency of online purchasing.
Sebastian Reis, EVP of Global e-Commerce at Checkout.com, said:“While there has been a sudden surge in e-commerce and digital payments this year due to the impact of COVID-19, the report suggests what we are seeing today is more than a temporary change in consumer behaviour. Our internal data shows an 86% increase in digital payment transactions on our platform since the start of the pandemic in the region.”