How would Lithuanians react to idea of abandoning hard cash?

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Even though electronic payments are getting more popular in Lithuania, the decrease in cash in circulation is minimal in the country. Even with Lithuania changing currency to the euro recently, there was little decrease in the use of cash for transactions and purchases by the general public.

DNB claim that such a drastic decision would be a great tool in the fight against the underground economy. DNB claims that the Norwegian central bank is unable to track about 60% movement of bank notes in the country.

In Lithuania there is demand for using electronic payment methods at least among a certain proportion of the population.

“A third of those [Lithuanians we] surveyed would be happy to pay by phone. Currently the payments are limited, but in the future the service will be expanded – it is a market which is developed in the whole world as well,” said Tomas Karpavičius, a representative of the Bank of Lithuania, Lithuania’s central bank.

“The population is only slowly changing habits, the shift is not as fast as we would like,” said Karpavičius.

The Norwegian Minister for Finance has met the proposal to abandon cash there with skepticism, but in Lithuania such discussion is generally unthinkable as population‘s love affair with cash seems unbreakable.

During the period of transition to the euro, the amounts of hard cash in the circulation in Ireland substantially diminished, but after the tranistion Lithuanians returned to old habits.

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