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Cashless transactions worldwide by region 2014-2018, with forecasts up until 2023

In 2018, 195.4 billion U.S. dollars in non-cash transactions were carried out in Asia-Pacific, higher than any other region. Europe and North America followed, with 192.2 and 170 billion U.S. dollars in transactions respectively. By 2023, Europe is expected to exceed North America, while Asia-Pacific was expected to nearly triple the value of such transactions, exceeding 490 billion U.S. dollars.

What are non-cash transactions?

The major non-cash payment methods remain credit and debit cards, direct debits, and credit transfers. However, financial technology (fintech) firms have developed a variety of mobile alternatives, though these depend largely on the existing methods. For example, the money transfer and payment service PayPal accepts credit card and bank transfer, and virtual wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay simply tokenize existing credit cards for more secure transfers.

The persistence of cash

While many countries are increasing the value of cashless payments they process, some are continuing to use cash. Advocates of cash payments argue that it requires no technological investment such as a smartphone, and that cash payments protect privacy by being impossible to track. There may also be an impact of generation on payment methods, but it does not seem to indicate a significant reluctance of older generations to embrace technology.

Number of non-cash transactions worldwide from 2014 to 2018, with forecasts from 2019 to 2023, by region

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Release date

November 2020



Survey time period

2014 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Forecast.

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Statistics on "Cashless payments in the United States"

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