Girl get from cash machine euro bills money

New trends in payment

Cash is making a comeback.

The Nordic Payment Report 2023, from payment service provider Nets, reveals an interesting trend about payments in Finland.

The report shows that cash is making a surprising comeback, but that mobile payments have caught up with it.

Cash has declined strongly in popularity in Finland in recent years, but is now seeing a new rise in appreciation. The report found that 60% of Finns considered cash an important or very important payment method in 2023, up from 55% the previous year.

“The growth in appreciation for cash may reflect the recent conversation about cash as a strong element of security of supply,” Suvi Ruoppa, Country General Manager at Nets, says.

One in five Finns pays with cash in stores either daily or weekly. Of the other Nordic countries, 17% of Danes pay with cash. In Sweden, the share of cash users is 7%, and in Norway, 6%.

The report shows that cash is making a surprising comeback, but that mobile payments have caught up with it.

Mobile payments catching up with cash

Mobile payment has become as popular as cash in Finland. In brick-and-mortar stores, 18% of Finns already use mobile payment either daily or weekly.

MobilePay has a strong position in Finland. It is significantly more popular than indigenous mobile payment solutions. The report finds that 29% of Finns use MobilePay. Apple Pay (6%) and Google Pay (5%) have greater shares than the Finnish mobile payment services (Pivo 4% and Siirto 2%).

“Mobile payment in Finland might be slowed down by the banks’ failure to focus on promoting a single solution, like in neighbouring countries,” Ruoppa says.

“Contact-free payment methods are on the rise, as they offer consumers an easy and safe payment experience. It’s clear that some consumers want to use their phones as their wallets.”

Self-service checkouts increasingly popular

Shops’ new purchasing methods have found their users. The report found that 36% of Finns use click-and-collect services, and that 28% consider skipping queues its greatest benefit. However, only 4% of Finns consider it easy. Pick-and-scan, which is available in large grocery stores, is used by 30% of Finnish consumers.

“New purchasing methods are gaining ground. The merchants who will succeed best are those who manage to combine physical and digital sales channels, creating a consistent, fluid customer experience,” Ruoppa says.

Card payments still king

Card is still the king of payment methods. The results show that in brick-and-mortar stores, 94% of Finns pay by card either daily or weekly.

Contactless payment is used by 77% of Finnish consumers. That figure is 86% in Sweden and 94% in Denmark. The popularity is expected to grow even further in Finland next year, when the €50 contactless payment limit is removed.

The Nets Nordic Payment Report is an annual report about payments and related topics for merchants with focus on physical sales locations. The content is based on a consumer survey conducted by Nets in four Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark), Nets’ own card transaction data, and Nets’ experts’ views.

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