Belgians unhappy with lack of ATMs
No other country in Europe has so many complaints about the lack of ATMs than Belgium. According to a large-scale survey on payment attitudes carried out by the European Central Bank 27% of the population finds it difficult to get their hands on cash. This largely overshadows the European average of 9%.
The closure of many bank branches in recent years and the disappearance of cash machines are clearly a source of frustration. While the results showed that 46% of the EU population has no problem obtaining cash via ATMs or bank branches and 40% find it fairly easy to do so, respondents in Belgium find it much more difficult.
While cards have overtaken cash as a means of payment, cash is still a popular means of payment but finding an ATM can be a challenge. 31% of those surveyed feel that cash payments are important. Only in Austria, Germany, Cyprus and Ireland do people rely more on paying with cash.
Cash is still the most commonly used means of payment at points of sale in Europe (59% of transactions), but this share is steadily declining (in 2019, it was 72%). In Belgium, cash is used by 45% of consumers at points of sale, compared to 57% in 2019, meaning there has been a 12% drop in only three years.
Now, card payments account for 48% of transactions in Belgium, making it one of only four countries in the Eurosystem where cards have overtaken cash as a means of payment. Additionally, 5% of Belgian points of sale now no longer accept cash, compared to 2% in 2019.
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