Cash payments accounted for 31 percent of the total value of POS transactions in Estonia last year.

Results of the survey show that within the euro area, in terms of number of transactions, cash was used most frequently in southern euro area countries as well as in Germany, Austraia and Slovenia, where 80 percent or more of POS transactions were conducted with cash.

Cash was used the least in the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland. The Netherlands was the only euro area country where consumers used cards more often than cash in 2016, carrying out 55 percent of all transactions using a card. Consumers in Estonia, meanwhile, carried out on average about an equal number of transactions using cash and cards.

In terms of value, the share of cash was highest in Greece, Cyprus and Malta, above 70 percent, while it was lowest in the Benelux countries, Estonia, France and Finland, at or below 33 percent.

Across the euro area, in 2016, approximately 79 percent of all payments at POS were made with cash, 19 percent with cards and two percent with other payment instruments. In terms of value, the market share of main payment instruments was 54 percent for cash, 39 percent for cards and seven percent for other instruments.

The average card transaction value was the highest in Luxembourg, Malta and Germany, where it ranged from €70.78 to €51.38. In contrast, the average card transaction value in the euro area was the lowest in Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia where it ranged from €16.05 to €14.33, indicating that consumers in these countries use cards for relatively low-value payments.

Consumers in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland and Estonia made the highest number of card payments per person per day, with 0.8, 0.6 and 0.5 payments per day, respectively. This is equal to 5.3, 4.1 and 3.8 payments per week, respectively.

In Estonia, the average size of a cash payment was slightly over €10, and the average size of a card payment approximately €15. The average size of payments using other payment instruments was €80.

Residents of Estonia made on average 0.5 cash payments and 0.5 card payments per day.

In Latvia and Lithuania, cash transactions accounted for 71 and 75 percent of the number of POS transactions and 54 and 62 percent of the value of transactions, respectively.