Plastic vs paper: Destinations that use cash and cards

The rise in the use of card payments is not just seen in the UK but across Europe and North America. With more people relying heavily on their cards, mobiles, and contactless devices to pay, WeSwap research has revealed the top ten destinations for card and cash spending, based on the popularity of use across its 500,000-strong userbase.

Card Cash
Sweden – 81% Cambodia – 93%
Norway – 77% Lebanon – 88%
Finland – 71% Ecuador – 84%
USA – 71% Peru – 81%
Luxembourg – 70% Croatia – 77%
Denmark – 70% Japan – 77%
Czech Republic – 69% Greece – 74%
Canada – 69% Slovakia – 73%
Switzerland – 67% Montenegro – 72%
Mexico – 66% Thailand – 72%

Countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland are top of the list for card use – who all frequently use debit and credit card from day-to-day. Sweden is well on its way to being a cashless society, with “no cash accepted” signs becoming a common occurrence in Swedish stores. Holidaymakers should be aware of this when travelling and not get caught out with plenty of krona but no card to spend it on.

In contrast, it is important to be aware that there are still many countries in Europe, such as Greece and Croatia, that do not use debit and credit cards as frequently. In this case, holidaymakers should plan when to buy their foreign currency in order to not get caught out by nasty ATM fees whilst abroad.

Rob Stross, CMO of WeSwap, said: “Although there are more and more countries working towards living in a cashless society, Brits must remember that there are still many countries both in Europe and the rest of the world that are still predominately cash-based. When withdrawing cash abroad, ATMs could charge you up to 5% for every transaction. So it is worth noting when going abroad which countries use cash more frequently and which use card in order to avoid paying unnecessary fees on ATM withdrawals of POS transactions. This way, holidaymakers can budget for their summer holidays effectively and spend wisely.”

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