Norges Bank

Staff Memo

Payment habits at point of sale. Different methods of calculating use of cards and cash in Norway

By Olaf Gresvik and Harald Haare
Staff Memo

We use different empirical methods for estimating the use of cash in Norway. One method gives an estimate of the “maximum” value of cash use at point of sale. A second estimates the minimum use of cash in the society calculated from new information uncovered by a recent reorganisation of the cash distribution system in Norway. In a third approach, answers from a general public survey provide insight into what different payments instruments are used for. The fourth method looks at which purposes the cash stock is held for. The four approaches give broadly the same results: cash use is very low in Norway compared to other Nordic and European countries, and it has been falling for many years. Cash settles about 23 % of transactions at point of sale, representing 14-38 % of the value.

Staff Memos present reports and documentation written by staff members and affiliates of Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway. Views and conclusions expressed in Staff Memos should not be taken to represent the views of Norges Bank.

ISSN 1504-2596 (online)

Published 23 October 2008 14:00
Published 23 October 2008 14:00