Despite predictions that the coronavirus pandemic would bring the death of cash, the opposite occurred. Cash in circulation increased sharply in 2020 and 2021, both in the Euro area and in the United States. The demand for cash has slowed down since mid-2022, but cash as % of GDP is still on an upward trend in most developed and emerging countries.
Cash as a means of payment is losing ground to cards but remains the most frequently used payment method at the point of sale in the euro area and in France, according to the 2022 ECB survey on cash usage. Demand for cash is now driven by store-of-value motives. In times of crisis, cash plays a stabilizing role for the economy since trust in physical money remains strong.
According to a yearly survey conducted for Monnaie de Paris, attachment to cash in France is strengthening and there is a clear rejection of a cashless world. Cash proves to be a reassuring means of payment, especially in view of current inflation. Coins are part of this story: the level of concern regarding a possible withdrawal of 1 & 2 cents coins is growing. Despite being increasingly drawn to new digital means of payment, French people are not convinced by the digital euro project.