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COVID-19 cash and debit card use in Belgium 2020

COVID-19 seems to have changed the payment behavior of Belgian consumers, as they increasingly used debit cards in favor of cash money. This according to indices that compare the number of ATM cash withdrawals and the number of debit card payments in shops during the COVID-19 lockdown to their normal value before the coronavirus pandemic hit Belgium. The source does not mention why it picked February 3 as the starting date, although Belgium's first recorded coronavirus case occurred on February 2, 2020. Nonetheless, like in many other European countries, contactless card limits were raised in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading via cash money. Belgians not only followed the advice of using more digital payments, but figures seem to indicate that consumers are also open to continue this behavior in the following months. When looking at an overview of cash use in 38 European countries, Belgian consumers already used less banknotes and coins in their POS transactions than many other European countries.

Indices of the number of cash withdrawals and POS debit card transactions during the coronavirus pandemic in Belgium in 2020

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Sources

Release date

July 2020

Region

Belgium

Survey time period

February 3, 2020 to Agust 16, 2020

Special properties

Some individual figures are estimates, especially for the card-based POS payments

Supplementary notes

Index value week of February 3, 2020 equals 100. The week of February 3 is the base week used to calculate the index value.

The source explicitly states that the debit card payments are done in-store ("in a physical location") and exclude online purchases.

The source does not specify if the index values of card payments and cash withdrawals are interrelated. Therefore, this statistic is no proof that there are were more card-based POS payments than cash withdrawals in Belgium.

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