Paradoxically, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the importance of cash. Most of the world's economies have seen a significant increase in the banknote money supply. Poland also follows this trend, where the value of cash in circulation since the beginning of the year has increased by over 27 percent, according to the National Bank of Poland. At the same time, the US recorded increases of 15 percent and the euro area by around 12 percent, according to VoxEU data. Moreover, they were not related to the outflow of bank deposits.
In our country, traditional payment methods are still very popular. Last year, as many as 20 percent of Poles still declared a loyalty to cash, according to the study ‘Cashless payments through the eyes of Poles 2019’. This is also confirmed by the latest data of Comp Platforma Usług provided by the M / platform system. We most willingly pay in cash in small-format stores, although over 97 percent of them offer the possibility of using payment cards.
“The reasons for the popularity of cash can be found in several sources. One of them is that during the lockdown, consumers were much more likely to shop in small stores, which offered greater safety and better hygiene than large retail chains,” Aleksander Pawlak, President of the Tavex Management Board, said.
What's more, the society also wanted to support small, local businesses in this way. Another element is the constantly falling interest rates, which prevent banks from offering various benefits for electronic payments, to which many customers were used to. Moreover, a precautionary demand - in times of crises, citizens trust the central bank and its notes more than the electronic records of commercial entities. According to the information from the National Bank of Poland, cash payments are still associated with the lowest, after bank transfers, costs.