What countries among the 20 largest economies are adapting quickest to using cashless systems like phones and contactless cards? New research (and nifty infographics) from global trading site Forex Bonuses reveals that Canada takes the top spot, narrowly edging out Sweden for the top position.

The study looks into contactless card saturation, number of debit and credit cards issued per capita, usage of cashless methods, growth of these cashless payments, and the proportion of people who are aware of which mobile payment services are available.

Key highlights:

  • Canada has contactless functionality in 26% of its population’s cards (compared to 41% in the UK and 56% in China) and the lowest number of debit cards per capita included in the research (0.7). However, the country has over two credit cards per person, a figure only exceeded by their neighbours in the US, who had just under three.
  • The majority of Canada‘s payments are made using cashless means at 57% of transactions, outmatched only by 2% in both Sweden and France. The UK reached 52% on this scale, while China, despite the majority of cards being contactless, used cashless methods in only 10% of transactions.
  • China is the most educated on mobile payment services, with 77% of survey respondents claiming they were aware of the options available to them in this regard. In comparison, only 47% in the UK claim the same.

infographic cashless societies

  • Gijs Boudewijn 11 October, 2017 at 1558

    I would suggest the authors redo their research on how EU countries score on cashless. My country, The Netherlands is certainly more cashless than e.g. France or cash loving Germany … (>50% of PoS payments cashless of which 40% contactless etc.). I would say place 4 after the UK …..

  • Harry Smorenberg 13 October, 2017 at 1445

    Fully agree with Gijs! Please join our 27th European Payment Summit on 14 and 15 March 2018 in The Hague to learn more on best practices globally! In-depth briefings on nations’ strategies towards less cash!

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