Where the cash laughs the loudest

Cashless payment is becoming more and more popular, not least thanks to online shopping. But who actually uses bills and coins the least? Some results are surprising.

The ruble doesn't have to roll, it can crackle - the main thing is that you have it in your hand.

Dhe Germans love cash. With the rise of cashless payment methods, some fear that it will be taken away from you altogether in the future. Other nations have a different relationship to it. The financial start-up Penta, which offers online banking for companies, has put together for a large part of the countries of the world how important cash is here, measured in terms of its ratio to gross domestic product.

One could expect that Sweden and Norway are at the top of the (largely) cashless countries with only 1.3 and 1.5 percent respectively. But one country still trumps the two, and that is of all places: Panama. The national currency Balboa only accounts for 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product in bills. Maybe that’s one reason why the Panama Papers took place in Panama of all places.

The Pa’anga, on the other hand, has the least amount of cash in circulation. There are only 32 million euros in bills from the currency of the South Sea island state of Tonga. Nevertheless, with a share of 9.2 percent, the population belongs to the average worldwide. The rate is 9.7 percent.

The figures quickly show that the degree of economic development and the amount of cash do not belong together. In the euro area, cash accounts for 10.7 percent of economic output – more than the average and more than in Tonga. Even the United States, where nothing seems to go without a credit card, is more cash-heavy than one might think, with a rate of 8.4 percent – Peru and Mauritius have about the same level.

Among the cash countries, one stands out and that is almost reminiscent of the proverbial: If something moves in Russia, the ruble will roll. The amount of cash equals 40 percent of economic output – that is amazing. Algeria follows in second place with 27.5 percent and the neighboring country Morocco comes in third with 22.8 percent. The Japanese, who share fourth place with Tajikistan of all places with 21.4 percent, also have a lot of cash.