Banknotes and coins lose ground to card payments

MoneyNorwegian money.Banknotes and coins.Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Eight out of ten people use cards as a form of payment, regardless of the amount. The percentage of older people making card payments increased the most. Norway could become the first cash-free society, said Finans Norge newspaper.


Finans Norge’s survey, “Consumer and financial trends 2018”,showed that the percentage of cards used for payment increased from 74% to 80% in one year. In 2008, only 45% were made by card.

“This shows that most have started on the cash-free journey, and that cash will be phased out in daily use,” said Jan Digranes, Managing Director of Payment and Digitization in Finance Norway to NTB.

He believes that Norway is full speed ahead to become the first cash-free society in a few years, and bases his argument on the figures from Consumer and Financial trends, and Norges Bank’s statistics on cash flow in circulation.

“We must, however, ensure that we have solutions that make it possible for those who still choose to pay cash,” emphasised Digranes. There is also an enormous groundswell of support for cash, and a distrust of fully digitalised banking and payment worldwide.

The barrier is gone

The age groups that increased the use of cards were the over 60 years old.

Ten years ago, there was a big difference between the youngest and the oldest, as 74% of the youngest, and only 17% of the elderly chose card settlement. Today, that gap is halved to 90% of the youngest always using cards, while 64% of the over 60s do the same.

Finance Norway pointed out that it is a natural development, as every new year of age, more pass into the elderly category, and brings with them their habits.

In addition, the oldest age groups, who have lived through times of high card usage fees, may gain a higher threshold of using the card, especially for small amounts.

Without contact

Another factor that makes card payments easier is the system of contactless card payments for small amounts under 200 kroner, which is becoming more and more common. The card is held against a terminal to complete the payment, without a PIN.

According to statistics from BankAxept and Nets, the majority of card purchases can be made by this solution, as more than half of all card purchases today are for less than 200 kroner. At the end of February, there were 2 million bank customers who had received contactless BankAxept cards from their bank.

“A contactless payment is as secure as a traditional card payment,” said Digranes.

According to him, the technology behind the system follows international standards and has been thoroughly tested.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today