The countries pioneering non-cash payments

Counting those stacks of cash can be satisfying, but there are plenty more benefits to its electronic counterpart.

Non-cash payments are not only quicker, but more secure. Budgeting is also much easier when you're not trying to keep track of receipts, and everything is in one place instead.

Not to mention having the convenience of all your money accessible, and plenty of discounts to take advantage of when shopping online.

And that's just the start of it.

After the pandemic, the chance of picking up bacteria from someone's coins is enough to make anyone uncomfortable.
And people are noticing. According to Capgemini, global non-cash transactions surged nearly 14% from 2018-2019 to reach 708.5 billion transactions
That's the highest growth rate recorded in the past decade!

But, which country has seen non-cash payments take over from regular old notes?

To find out, our experts analysed global trends, looking into the countries that have reported higher numbers of non-cash transactions. They also found where in the world cash currency is holding on, to reveal the countries who are happy with tradition.


2019 saw Iceland leading the charge for ditching cash in the past year.

8% of the country's overall payments were made with cash, leaving the Icelandic króna behind and becoming an almost cashless society. In fact, cash is even more redundant here as tipping for services and VAT taxes are always included in prices.
Meanwhile, for people living in the Ukraine, it's not as clear cut. The country has an even split of cash and non-cash payments, clearly showing that Ukrainian's haven't yet made their minds up. Perhaps they need a bit more time before they can put down their hryvnia.

However, Albania is holding onto the traditional route of tangible currency more than any other country. Our research showed that in 2019 88% of Albanians' purchases were made with cash.

They're not alone either, as Romania saw 76-100% of their payments made with cash during 2019. We can't pinpoint the exact number, however with just a quarter of non-cash payments, it's clear this country is happy with their usual cash options.


As the pandemic took hold of countries around the world, shops, restaurants and in-person services had to shut their doors.

As a result, online businesses boomed, and spending hard earned cash online became the norm for most people.

That certainly rings true for Denmark, as our analysis reveals that only 1% of all payments made by the Danes were made with cash.
2020 led the Czech Republic to reduce their cash payments by a significant amount too. In comparison to 61% of payments being made with cash in 2019, the country's cash payments dropped by 15% in 2020.
Italy saw the biggest difference however, as 38% of the Italian's payments were made with cash in 2020. In comparison to the 57% in 2019 - the pandemic could have really influenced this shake up their usual methods, leading to the 19% drop.
Our data highlights how over the last two years, countries have seen a shift from cash to non-cash payments. And whilst the pandemic may have sped that process up for some, it hasn't necessarily had the same impact for all countries.

For some, using traditional cash to make payments actually became more popular.

Analysis revealed that Finland actually saw an increase in cash payments between 2019 and 2020.

Surprisingly, the country recorded a 7% increase in payments made with cash, going from 17% in 2019 to 24% in 2020.


As the world adjusts to society post-pandemic, cash has been left behind by countries in greater measures than years gone by.

Bulgaria has seen a decrease of 18% non-cash payments in the last two years, as the country has ditched the cash.

However, Czech Republic has really led the charge when it comes to ditching the traditional coins and notes.

The country has seen a huge decrease of 49% in non-cash payments since 2019 to 2021 - more than any other country!
Meanwhile, Sweden had the least amount of change in it's numbers. Starting at an already low 13% of payments being made with cash, since 2019 the country has seen a reduction of nearly 11%.

Brits seem to be having an attitude change towards handling cash when making their payments, but the process is a bit slower.

The island recorded a 21% drop in cash payments over the last two years, with the most significant decrease being between 2020 and 2021 of 10%.

According to, non-cash payment growth will reach a total of 1.22 trillion transactions in 2024 and 1.96 trillion in 2029. But by that time, will Sweden remain in the top spot for leaving cash behind?