Survey: Frequency of cash use has decreased


In recent years, the use of cash by people in Estonia has become less frequent: the vast majority of people use cash a few times a month.

At the beginning of the year, LHV and Kantar Emor surveyed how often people in Estonia use cash. A total of 58% of people in Estonia use cash a few times a month, while 18% use it once or twice a week.

The frequency of cash use among the Estonian population has decreased in recent years: while 16% of people used cash daily in 2018, the figure was 10% in 2024. The same trend can be observed among people who use cash once or twice a week: while in 2018, 36% of the Estonian population did so, the proportion fell to 18% by 2024.

At the same time, the proportion of people who use cash a few times a month has increased: from 41% of the Estonian population in 2018 to 58% in 2024.

According to Indrek Kaljumäe, Business Manager of Payment Solutions at LHV, the data from the Bank of Estonia also shows that people’s habits in using cash have changed over time. ‘Statistics show that people are withdrawing cash less frequently, but in larger amounts at a time: for example, LHV’s experience shows that small businesses are actively using ATMs to deposit their cash earnings into the company’s current account,’ Kaljumäe said.

At the same time, the use of cards stored in virtual wallets (e.g., Apple Wallet, Google Pay, Garmin Pay, etc.) is on the rise: LHV’s statistics show that while in 2022, 22% of all card transactions in LHV Pank were made as smart payments, their share has doubled to 45% today.

According to Kaljumäe, cash does have its role to play in certain transactions. ‘However, digital banking has evolved to the point where it is possible to conduct everyday financial transactions without using cash, and increasingly more people have taken this path,’ Kaljumäe said.

LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. The LHV Group’s key subsidiaries are LHV Pank, LHV Varahaldus, LHV Kindlustus, and LHV Bank Limited. The Group employs over 1,100 people. As at the end of April, LHV’s banking services are being used by 432,000 clients, the pension funds managed by LHV have 120,000 active clients, and LHV Kindlustus protects a total of 167,000 clients. LHV Bank Limited, a subsidiary of the Group, holds a banking licence in the UK and provides banking services to international financial technology companies, as well as loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

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