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BRUSSELS – June 21, 2013 – New research from MasterCard shows that Europeans want to enjoy cashfree holidays. The survey shows how people across Europe prefer having their cards on hand on holiday, more than the rest of the year: 91% of them carry their cards while on holiday vs 60% at home and over half or 53% of those questioned would like to pay more by card when on vacation. 

The main reasons Europeans cite to pay by card on holiday are convenience (65%), fear of cash being stolen (41%), security (38%), not having cash on hand (37%), speed (34%) and better tracking of expenses (30%). Additionally 44% of all Europeans are convinced cash will soon become a thing of the past, thanks to the speed of innovation. A staggering 50% of European consumers believe that cash is the cheapest way to pay, but in fact every single person actually pays – usually without knowing it – to process, circulate and protect that hard currency. For instance, cash costs every German citizen €150 a year[1].

For Europeans time is valuable when on holiday; 51% of them consider that looking for a cash machine on holiday is wasting time that could be spent on the beach or enjoying the city. 29% often feel lost on holiday when they can’t pay by card.There are however, some small expenses where Europeans don’t yet feel comfortable reaching for their cards on holiday, particularly for small purchases, which are more often paid for by cash: for instance, Europeans pay mostly with cash for postcards (85%), ice cream or snacks (84%), tips for the waiter (83%), taxis (77%) or even souvenirs (61%).

According to Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Core Products Europe at MasterCard, “A cashfree way of life is becoming easier every day. European consumers clearly see the advantages of electronic payments on holiday and consequently want to use them more. For all these reasons, we’ve decided to develop an international socio-cultural campaign called NoCash Summer. Throughout Europe, NoCash pioneers will be challenged to use as little cash as possible, including for their smallest purchases. During the next few weeks, they will share photos, videos and messages about the reality and benefits of a world beyond cash on our brand new Tumblr blog. We have no doubt it will be fun and also eye-opening for everyone. The future of payments is now.”

About NoCash Summer

Immersed in consumers’ daily lives, NoCash Summer is a unique pan-European campaign challenging consumers to live cashfree day to day, track their spending habits and share their experiences socially through original multimedia content. Their stories will highlight the benefits, realities and feasibility of a cashless way of life, while providing a window into their different personalities and cultures. The campaign, which combines documentary content, online media and sociology, has been designed to explore the question of a cashless society, with MasterCard playing a social, educational, cultural and fun role in the move towards a cashless future. Along with the campaign, MasterCard Europe is launching the Tumblr “A World Beyond Cash.” The platform will host the NoCash Summer over the next several months and other innovative NoCash solutions, testimonies and insights over the longer term. Follow us this summer with the hashtag #NoCashSummer.

 About the research findings

This report presents the results of an online survey. The questions were asked to 3,310 respondents (age 18+) in the following eight countries: Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Poland, and Ukraine. All have been on holiday (for leisure) for at least two consecutive days in the past year. All are in possession of a debit and/or credit card.

Sample is representative of each country’s population in terms of age (18-60) and gender.

The research was conducted between May 29 and June 4, 2013.

Country Percentage of European consumers who would like to pay more by card
Ukraine 70%
Poland 66%
France 59%
Spain 56%
Average (Europe) 53%
Italy 52%
UK 43%
Germany 42%
Sweden 40%


Country Percentage of European consumers who consider looking for a cash machine on holiday is wasting time that could be spent on the beach or enjoying the city
Ukraine 69%
Poland 64%
Spain 55%
Average (Europe) 51%
France 50%
Italy 47%
Germany 46%
UK 43%
Sweden 36%


Country Percentage of European consumers convinced that with technological innovations constantly emerging, cash will soon be something from the past
Ukraine 57%
Poland 54%
Italy 52%
Spain 45%
Average (Europe) 44%
France 40%
UK 38%
Germany 34%
Sweden 31%


About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardEU, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog andsubscribe for the latest news.

 Media Contacts

Corinne Raes

MasterCard Europe

+32 2 352 5237


Bénédicte Stievenart

MasterCard Europe

+32 2 352 5019


[1] Source: Prof. Jens Kleine, Steinbeis University