Commitment to support the UK’s Wholesale Cash Distribution (WCD) network: View the update

BIS stats show that global cash in circulation is on the increase

New statistics published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – a financial institution owned by central banks – has shown the amount of cash in circulation is increasing in many countries around the world.

BIS reports an increase in the use of large-denomination notes has caused an overall growth of total cash in circulation in jurisdictions covered by the BIS-convened Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI). This is despite a decrease, or flat-lining, in the value of small-denomination notes and coins in circulation.

While the report also found the value of card payments relative to GDP is increasing for all but a few CPMI jurisdictions, the authors argue “for most countries, the cashless society, or even a “less cash” society, has yet to materialise.”

The report’s results align with some of our own findings. In 2018, Vaultex asked leading experts from central banks across the world for their thoughts on cash’s place in the wider payments industry. 76% of respondents said that they believed cash will be an integral payment method past 2038, with some even expecting to see more cash growth in the future – particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The full report can be found here.

More recently, a major new UK report, Access to Cash by former Chief Financial Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney made a strong case for the need to protect cash services in the years ahead. The report argued that for 17% – or 8 million people – in the UK “cash is not a choice, but a necessity.”

More details from the report can be found here.