In February, Latvian residents performed 27% of their weekly transactions in cash form (36% last year), according to data of the Transaction Radar of the Bank of Latvia.
At the same time, the average number of transactions performed by residents in cash form every week has also reduced. While in February 2020 residents performed an average of 4.5 cash transactions every week, this number declined to 3 in February 2021.
At the same time, Latvian residents performed an average of 8.3 non-cash transactions a week in February (8 in February 2020).
Latvijas fakti director Aigars Freimanis says the first conclusion that comes to mind after analyzing results is trivial – house-sitting and all the restrictions imposed during Covid-19 pandemic reduce the number of transactions performed in cash form or using payment cards. The majority of those transactions are performed by residents while outside their homes. The pandemic has rapidly reduced the options to spend money in this manner.
At the same time, he notes the picture tends to change if you look at and compare all non-cash transactions – payment card transactions and internet transactions with payments processed in cash form. Cash transactions have declined, but non-cash transactions have remained almost unchanged when compared to before Covid-19 pandemic.
He says under the pandemic the number of the transactions performed using contact-free cards and smartphones have increased slightly. This may be related to buyers’ desire to spend less time in stores and other shopping locations. Non-cash and smartphone transactions are performed the most often by young residents and residents with higher income.
There has also been an increase of the number of residents who actively use flash transactions.
Data from the Bank of Latvia showed that in the first half-year of 2020 there were 265.1 million non-cash transactions worth EUR 87 billion and 292.4 million non-cash transactions worth EUR 94.1 billion in the second half of 2020. (BNN/Business World Magazine)