Estonian residents have a high opinion of local payment solutions
The survey of payment behaviour ordered for Eesti Pank found a very high level of satisfaction among the people in Estonia about the payment solutions available in Estonia, and about how convenient, modern and secure they are. The number of people who only use cash has declined year by year. New means of cashless payment have appeared however, such as the option of paying with smart devices, which are particularly preferred by the young. The most common reason for using cash is when card payment is not available, the amount to be paid is small, or the payment is to another private individual. Cash is also used for holding savings, and 45% of respondents to the survey have savings in cash. The survey was carried out by RAIT Faktum&Ariko on 10–27 August, and there were 1004 respondents from across Estonia.
Residents of Estonia responding to the payment behaviour survey had a high opinion of how convenient, modern and secure the payment solutions available locally were. The average score for the convenience of payment services was very good at 4.3 out of five. Younger people reported greater satisfaction than the average. The security of payment solutions got a slightly lower score from Russian speakers and other non-Estonian speakers. Respondents are pleased that there are sufficient different ways of paying and they are easy to use. They also noted that the payment solutions available are modern and meet the needs of payers. In their responses about security, people consider the banks have done everything they can to make payments safe and that following the guidelines of the banks means that there is essentially no risk of ending up with no money.
Residents of Estonia mostly make their everyday purchases by going to the shop, but 16% of people prefer to buy online. The share of people making online purchases is above the average among the younger age groups, as 21% of those aged 18-44 sometimes or always make their everyday purchases online. Larger purchases for technology and furniture are made online even more often, and were noted by half of the respondents.
When people visit a physical shop, 86% of them mainly pay by bank card, 10% use cash more often, and 4% use a smart phone or smart watch. Smartphones and smart watches are used more by younger people, they are the preferred means of payment for 9% of the 18-29 age group. The reasons for using cash have not changed over the years, and 66% of people pay cash when card payment is not possible, 44% do so when they sum to be paid is small, and 36% of people do so when they are paying another private individual. Respondents said that they are most often unable to pay by card in markets and small shops, when paying for beauty services, and in catering establishments.
Earlier surveys by Turu-uuringute AS and Kantar Emor has shown that the use of cash in points of sale has been falling year by year. Seven years ago around a third of respondents made their everyday purchases only or frequently in cash, while two years ago only 23% of respondents favoured cash.
The channels for withdrawing cash have not changed in recent years. Respondents to the survey mainly get their cash from ATMs, with 89% doing this, while 3% withdraw cash from bank offices, and 3% do so from shop tills.
In the current survey, 47% found that access to cash has not changed in the past three years, while 13% found that access has improved and 21% said that it has deteriorated.
Regular payments like utilities and telephone bills, newspaper subscriptions, or monthly fees for kindergartens or sports clubs are most frequently paid by e-invoice or the internet bank, with 96% of respondents using one or other of these. Payments between private individuals are made through an internet bank in 52% of cases, 27% use mobile phone banking, and 20% cash. Mobile banking is favoured more by the 18-29 age group, as 61% of this group prefer mobile banking as their means of payment.
The survey found that 45% of respondents hold savings in cash. The reasons for holding savings in cash were in 37% of cases that interest rates on bank deposits are too low, in 36% that it gives a better picture of savings, in 25% that the service fees of the banks are too high, and in 23% that there could be obstacles to accessing cash.
Some 45% of respondents prefer to receive a paper receipt for purchases, while 29% do not consider a receipt necessary, and 22% prefer a digital receipt. The differences in responses between age groups were substantial, as 66% of those aged over 60 prefer to receive a paper receipt and only a tenth prefer digital receipts, while there were more respondents who say a receipt is not necessary or who prefer a digital receipt among those aged 18-29, and also among those on higher incomes.
The survey also examined opinions about the elimination of one and two-cent coins and rounding rules for purchases. Support for rounding rules was lower than in the survey of 2019, but the share of respondents who do not support the idea also declined. The idea of rounding the final value of a basket of purchases being bought in cash in a shop to the nearest five cents, and so allowing one and two-cent coins to disappear gradually from circulation was supported by 54% of respondents. The idea was opposed by 29%, while 17% needed more time to think about it.
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