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October 3, 2022
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Poles pay less and less in cash –

The latest research of the National Bank of Poland (NBP) shows that the value share of cash in payments in Poland is decreasing. Today it is below 50 percent. What does it mean?

Poles prefer e-payments?

Although Poles pay less and less in cash, many of them still choose this payment model. The preliminary results of the central bank’s research show that at the end of October 2020, the nominal value of PLN 100 dominated the valuable structure of banknotes in circulation, with a 54% share.

It is a denomination that performs both a transactional and value storage function, while the entire denomination structure of banknotes in circulation as at the end of October 2020 shows an increase in the importance of the highest denomination banknotes, i.e. PLN 500 and PLN 200, which is the result of increased withdrawals cash and the thesauring function performed by these denominations – provided by NBP in an interview with the Business Insider portal.


In the middle of the year, there were 22,166 ATMs in Poland. This means that this number has been steadily declining for 3 years – in the second quarter of 2017 it was 23,528.

It is not the end. The frequency of withdrawals from ATMs is also falling. In the second quarter, 112,123,644 such transactions took place (a decrease by 34% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, and by 36% in the second quarter of 2017).

Cash will stay with us!

Despite such data, the NBP still claims that it does not plan to liquidate cash in the near future. Bank representatives emphasize certain advantages of paper money. It is, for example, the failure rate of digital systems.

Hence, we keep cash in a certain limited amount prudently, whether it is in the wallet or at home. The cash we keep in a reasonable amount makes us feel much more confident in times of crisis and uncertainty. The importance of the precautionary motive in creating the demand for cash was clearly visible during the financial crisis in 2008 and during the current epidemic, during which we additionally paid out approx. PLN 80 billion – claims the NBP.

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