However, is Britain on its way to becoming a cashless society?
Cash vs Card – WeSwap reveals which is KING in these popular holiday destinations
The new design of Britain’s most common, and most forged, banknote has been unveiled by the Bank of England. The most commonly circulating banknote in Britain is the £20 note, with two billion of them in the system. However, recently, the British Retail Consortium today announced that debit cards were the most popular form of payment, as falling cash use pushed notes and coins down to third place. The report stated that cash accounted for just over £1 in every £5 spent with UK shops. This trend in the rise 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, it begs the question – are we on our way to becoming a cashless society?
Peer-to-peer travel money provider, WeSwap has commissioned nationally representative data to reveal the top ten destinations for card and cash spending, based on the popularity of use across its 500,000-strong userbase.
- Sweden – 81%
- Norway – 77%
- Finland – 71%
- USA – 71%
- Luxembourg – 70%
- Denmark – 70%
- Czech Republic – 69%
- Canada – 69%
- Switzerland – 67%
- Mexico – 66%
- Cambodia – 93%
- Lebanon – 88%
- Ecuador – 84%
- Peru – 81%
- Croatia – 77%
- Japan – 77%
- Greece – 74%
- Slovakia – 73%
- Montenegro – 72%
- 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. Britain is a nation formed of people who love to travel and although the UK are moving closer towards becoming a cashless society within our own borders, when we go abroad this all changes.
- Sweden tops the list as the most popular holiday destination for card – 81% of holidaymakers prefer to use card
- Cambodia leads the way for cash use abroad with 93% of us preferring paper to plastic when visiting
- Paper currency is still the way to go for 77% of tourists in Japan
- Nordic countries make up the top-three holiday destinations for card use
- For the gap-year travellers, pack your cash for Southeast Asia – Thailand and Cambodia both in the top ten for cash purchases
- Going to the States? 71% of us use our cards when visiting our friends across the pond, foregoing cash use
Rob Stross, CMO of WeSwap:
“Despite many countries appearing to become cashless, and Britain seems to be working towards living in a cashless society, Brits must remember that there are still many communities and 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.”
WeSwap users can use their WeSwap Mastercard® to load funds, purchase items and withdraw or order cash for their holidays with no risk of hidden costs or unfair fees. Now the innovative travel money provider reveals where the most popular destinations are for holidaymakers to use their card and where is best to use cash.
With a userbase of more than 500,000 people, trading over £250m worth of swaps since its launch, WeSwap is the People’s Currency Exchange, transforming the way we spend, save and plan for our holidays.
We’re striving to remove all the stress, hassle, smoke and mirrors normally associated with currency exchange, for as low a cost to our community as possible. WeSwap matches travellers up and swaps their currencies directly, avoiding the costly fees imposed by other services. is bringing together a community of people that love to travel without any hassle.
Scooping the win for the British Bank Awards’ Best Travel Money Provider for two years running, as well as Best Prepaid Currency Card 2019 in the Moneynet.co.uk awards, WeSwap’s people-powered platform helps travellers get the best rates of exchange – by way of a transparent 1-2% fee on the mid-market rate – along with a suite of tools to help travellers budget better and be more financially savvy when traveling.
With recent launches like Smart Swap, Global Currencies and Buy Back, WeSwap are carving a space for themselves in the travel money market, seeking to expand in the future beyond travel money through partnerships and acquisitions., WeSwap will make every leg of your travels simple and affordable.