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Cash usage will remain important in Turkey

The results of the CBRT Cash Usage Habits Survey revealed that although card payments have an important place in daily life, cash is much more dominant in Turkey and will remain important against other payment methods in the short term.

The results of the Cash Usage Habits Survey conducted by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) in the September-October period of last year to understand the cash usage habits in Turkey and to examine the importance of cash in payment methods were published in the Center’s Journal.

In the survey, in which 1,200 women and 1,200 men aged 16-65, representing the whole of Turkey, participated, it was seen that 46.1% of the participants had a low level of education and 56.2% had a low level of financial literacy.

According to the results of the survey, 32.3% of individuals get their entire income in cash, and 30.3% from their bank account. The rate of those who earned all or most of their income in cash was 55.1%. It was observed that the rate of earning income in cash decreased as the education level increased.

While the median amount of money carried in the wallet in a normal day was ₺150, it was noted that the average amount of money carried in the wallet changed according to demographic characteristics. In this direction, it was observed that people aged 40-54, self-employed, with higher education and high income carry more cash in their wallets, while individuals with high financial literacy carry less cash in their wallets.

The median amount of cash withdrawn from ATM or bank at once was calculated as ₺500 TL and the average as ₺963. Survey results revealed that this amount is higher for retirees, those aged 55-64, those in the highest income group and those with higher financial literacy.

Cash usage rate decreases as education level and income level increase

According to the survey results, individuals described themselves as “predominantly using cash” in spending.

The forms of self-identification according to payment methods differed according to their demographic characteristics. Self-identification as “predominantly using cash” was more common in the 16-24 and over 65 age groups, while it was lower in self-employed workers than in other occupational groups. On the other hand, as the level of education and income increased, the percentage of those who defined themselves as “who use cash mostly” decreased.

Financial inclusion and informality have been influential in the way individuals define themselves according to the means of payment they use.

Accordingly, 18.3% of the participants do not have a deposit account in any bank, while 19.1% of the participants who are active in working life are not registered with any social security institution. It was noteworthy that self-identification as “mostly using cash” was much more common among respondents who do not have a deposit account at any bank and those who are not affiliated with any social security institution.

There will be no significant decrease in cash use in the future

Among those surveyed, those who stated that they would use cash more in the next year were more than those who stated that they would use it less. This indicated that there will not be a significant decrease in cash usage in the upcoming period.

Factors such as habit, seller’s preference, confidentiality, prevalence, ease of controlling expenditures, price advantage, low cost, ease of use, security and speed came to the fore in individuals’ preference for cash.

As part of the survey, 1.537 participants were also given a payment journal form to record all their transactions during 4 days, including the weekend. According to the results of the payment diary, purchases made with cash constituted 89.5% of the total purchases made at shopping points on the basis of the number of transactions and 76% on the basis of the amount. In this context, it was observed that the cash usage rate in Turkey is quite high compared to the cash usage rates calculated based on payment journals in Euro Zone countries.

The survey results indicated that although card payments have an important place in daily life, cash is much more dominant than other payment methods in Turkey and that cash will maintain its importance over other payment methods in the short term.

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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