Benefits of Cash - Use it or Lose it

Austrians Prefer to Pay in Cash

There are good reasons for the Austrian preference for cash:
Anonymity and privacy: Cash allows financial transactions to remain discreet and personal information to be protected. Using cash means that an individual’s financial activity stays private.
Reliability: Unlike digital payment methods, cash is always available and there is no need to worry about dead batteries or forgotten passwords.
Financial education: Cash plays an important role in our financial education, especially for children. It enables them to learn how to manage money, save and fulfil their own wishes.
Financial overview: Cash makes it easier to control spending, unlike the complex business models of digital payment methods, which make it harder to keep track of one’s finances.
Cost efficiency: Cash transactions are costeffective and do not burden the consumer or the provider with the additional fees that can occur with digital payments.
Security and independence in times of crisis: Cash is particularly indispensable in times of crisis. It enables secure payments to be made even in the event of a blackout or other technical disruption.
Data protection: Cash transactions are private and offer protection against data misuse. By contrast, digital payments are more susceptible to security and data breaches.
Counterfeit protection: Euro cash is considered to be particularly counterfeit-proof and offers security to both consumers and providers in their transactions

The Misson of OeNB and Münze Österreich AG: Preserving Cash

Both institutions have a considerable responsibility towards cash. They are committed to raising awareness of the importance of cash in modern society while developing innovative approaches to making the use of cash attractive. Their primary goal is to ensure that cash retains its relevance in an increasingly digitised world. This not only requires communicating these messages but also creating a positive image for cash in order to ensure that it does not lose its importance and continues to play a central role in Austrian society.

Why Cash ist Still a Smart Choice:

The benefits of abolishing cash often cited in the public debate, such as less crime, the shadow economy and cost savings, turn out to be untenable or false on closer inspection. Indeed, digital means of payment are currently being prioritised in the shadow economy. Moreover, the enormous cost of card payment fraud is often ‘forgotten’ in some published calculations, thus cash is by far the most cost-effective means of payment. In terms of economic policy, the overall economic balance speaks in favour of maintaining an efficient cash system. Cash remains a smart choice for all who appreciate the benefits of this tried and tested payment method. It is not a question of either/or, but rather of both/and. Despite the fact that they are in partial competition with each other, cash and digital payment methods are generally seen to complement each other. The coexistence of cash and digital alternatives will therefore continue to be preferable to a world without cash.

Oesterreichische Nationalbank