9 Countries That Use Credit Cards More Than Cash
The use of credit cards for financial transactions has become more popular. In the late 1950s, the Bank of America introduced BankAmericard, the first credit card whereby financial institutions could allow cardholders to borrow money from them. Of course, the funds borrowed must be paid within the agreed period to avoid charges. Since then, the advent of Information Communications Technology (ICT) has turned the credit card into a safe payment method, making it a preferred choice in most countries.
For many, payment of purchases with a credit card is far preferable to using cash. Among the outstanding benefits of credit cards are safety and convenience, things we really value in today’s world. With all the great benefits on offer, the use of credit cards is continuously on the rise all over the world. Here is a list of the top 9 countries where credit cards are used more than cash:
Sweden is leading the race to a cashless society. The use of credit cards started becoming more commonplace in the country in the 1990s. Now, credit cards have become a widely used tool for various types of payments. From personal to business transactions, almost half of the Swedish population has stopped using cash. Anywhere you go, you will find people using credit cards for their payments, be it in the buses, malls, shops or even churches. In fact, out of 1,600 banks in Sweden, 900 are no longer accepting cash deposits.
Like any other Western country, the majority of Canadians are ditching cash; preferring to use credit cards for all sorts of transactions. Canadians are considered to have a special affinity with credit cards; at least 27 million Canadians aged 20 and over hold almost three credit cards. The use of credit cards over cash is widely practiced in the country following the growing trend for a cashless society. A report from the Canadian Bankers Association revealed that nearly 74.5 million MasterCard and Visa credit cards are collectively held by Canadians. Credit cards have become irreplaceable for Canadians as the safest way to make purchases and pay bills.
3. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is another of the countries in the world where the use of credit cards as a payment method is preferred over other options. Following the trend of a cashless society, the UK came in 3rd in the race to ditch cash. Almost half of British online shoppers prefer to use credit cards and more than 80 million credit cards are in circulation in the country. For the last 50 years, the use of credit cards has been an essential part of personal finance in the country. Almost all adults use credit cards, with Visa and MasterCard among the popular choices.
4. United States of America
For Americans, using credit cards has become a way of life. Surveys show that 73% of American households use credit cards for their financial transactions nowadays. The use of credit cards in the country has become quite fashionable in the past decade. Additionally, credit cards are the preferred payment method for Americans when online shopping. Indeed, the average American spends around $4,236 on credit card transactions per year, which is a sizable figure.
Compared to other European countries, the French use credit cards in a different manner. They are not heavy users, but still prefer using them over cash for safe and convenient transactions. MasterCard and Visa are accepted by most shops and restaurants, but street vendors and smaller businesses still demand cash. Additionally, high-end restaurants and boutiques accept American Express.
According to statistics, a large number of Australians use credit cards for their daily financial transactions. A 2016 survey showed that 70.19% of Australian adults have credit cards and that they are using them for a variety of transactions. Indeed, there are around 16 million cards in circulation. To date, the country has accrued almost $32 billion in credit card debt. It is obvious that Australians pay for more on credit card than with any other source, such as cash.
For the Japanese, using a credit card in the country is not difficult. Almost all shops and stores in Japan accept credit cards as a payment method. The Japanese hold as many credit cards per person as Americans. Japan issued almost 258 million credit cards recently, suggesting every Japanese adult has an average of over 2 credit cards. When making purchases in stores, the Japanese are encouraged to use their credit cards in exchange for benefits such as earning points, discounts or getting special services. That said, despite a large number of credit cards circulating in the country, the Japanese are very cautious about using them.
Cash payments in China are becoming very rare nowadays due to the increasing popularity of credit cards. In 2012, UnionPay had a monopoly in the Chinese credit card market. It has since been opened up to foreign firms like MasterCard, American Express and Visa, as the World Trade Organization disallowed the monopoly.
For Koreans, a study has revealed that you are considered a loser if you use cash for transactions and payments. The use of credit cards started gaining traction in Korea during the campaign to eliminate all forms of corruption and fight the flow of cash into the underground economy. For most adults using credit cards in the country, it is not just a convenient payment method, but also a way to save money. Businesses are challenged to accept credit cards and consumers are offered incentives and discounts for using them.
Credit cards have become increasingly popular everywhere in the world today, as people are becoming more reliant on a safer way to pay. Not only that, but credit cards have provided us with a more convenient tool for financial transactions, which explains why more and more people now prefer to use credit cards.