Despite a growing number of ways to pay in shops, restaurants or online, cash remains the most widespread method of payment in a many countries. While some nations in Western and Northern Europe as well as in the Americas and Oceania have shifted to more card payments, much of Asia and Africa continues to run on cash. There are also notable exceptions among highly developed nations to the card payment trend: In Germany, 73 percent most recently said they had paid in cash in the past 12 months, while only 56 percent had used debit cards and only 18 percent had used mobile phones for payment. The results of the survey were similar in Austria, Poland, Italy and Spain as well as Japan - another stronghold of cash payments.
According to Statista's Consumer Insights, respondents in English-speaking nations, in Scandinavian and Benelux countries as well as in Brazil, Chile, South Korea, Russia and France preferred card payments. Despite popular belief, debit cards were more popular than credit cards in the U.S. and also across most other nations. Denmark, France and South Korea emerged as the biggest credit card lovers among the 38 nationalities in the survey and were the only ones using the type of payment more than all others methods. The U.S. was also not the biggest nation of check users in the survey. While 13 percent of Americans said they had used them in the past 12 months, this was topped by 14 percent of Swiss people, 16 percent of Indians and 20 percent of French respondents.
The only country in the survey where mobile payments had overtaken all other payment types was China, where 67 percent had used their phones to pay in the past year. India, Indonesia and Nigeria were two more countries with high rates of phone payments - in the case of India and Indonesia even overtaking debit cards.