PwC study finds digital transactions are outpacing cash payments

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found cashless transaction volumes are expected to outpace cash payments going into 2030.

The study – conducted alongside PwC’s strategy consultancy Strategy& – highlights that cashless transactions volume will grow by over 80% to 1.9 trillion by 2025 while digital payments per person are expected to triple by 2030.

According to a representative at Strategy&, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the switch from cash to digital payments by three to five years.

The study found the strongest growth is anticipated in the Asia Pacific markets, where the volume of cashless transactions is expected to increase by 109% by 2025 and a further 76% from 2025 to 2030. Meanwhile, the African region is expected to grow by 78% by 2025 and then 64% by 2030.

Europe is also anticipated to have 64% more digital transactions by 2025 while Latin America is expecting growth rates of 52%. However, the US and Canada are expected to see lower growth rates – at 43% and 35% respectively.

While the uptake of cashless transactions is climbing in Europe, the study identified some larger European economies – such as Germany – still have more cash than cashless transactions.

The study also identified six macro trends that are expected to have a ‘major impact’ on payments over the next five years. These included inclusion and trust, digital wallets, cross-border payments, digital currencies, financial crime and battle of the rails. The last trend refers to the ‘behind-the-scenes’ payment processing that exists in cashless transactions.

The study can be read in full here.

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