Saturday 23 September 2017

Draghi: Cash still king for eurozone payments

ECB president Mario Draghi
ECB president Mario Draghi

Francesco Canepa

Three-quarters of eurozone payments are made in cash, and it remains essential for the economy despite the rise of digital payment, the President of the European Central Bank has said.

Mario Draghi's words could assuage some lingering concerns in Germany that the ECB aims to gradually reduce reliance on cash in favour of other forms of payment.

"Even in this digital age, cash remains essential in our economy," Mr Draghi said in a statement on the issue of a new €50 banknote.

"A soon-to-be-published survey on cash use, carried out on behalf of the ECB, shows that over three-quarters of all payments at points-of-sale in the euro area are made in cash.

"In terms of transaction values, that's slightly more than half."

The ECB's decision last year to phase out the €500 banknote irked some at Germany's central bank, who feared people's freedom to store their savings in cash was being curtailed.

The ECB said the move was due to concerns that the high-denomination banknote was used to finance crime and terrorism, although there is no official data about this. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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