Popular, but under pressure - cash in the digital age

Martin Schlegel, Vice Chairman of the Governing Board

Forum for Financial Market Stability, FMA Liechtenstein, Vaduz, 29.11.2022

Payment habits have been undergoing considerable change for a number of years now. Digitalisation is progressing rapidly in the area of payment transactions and cash is being used less frequently for payments.

Nevertheless, cash remains popular due to its special characteristics, and adds significant value even in the digital age. Cash makes managing your money clear and simple, allows everyone to participate in the economy and social life, protects privacy and is particularly crisis-proof.

The freedom of choice between cash and cashless methods people now have when making payments is of great importance to them, and therefore also to the SNB.

However, this freedom is not to be taken for granted. It hinges on the smooth day-to-day functioning of the cash system. Declining usage puts economic pressure on the cash infrastructure. Due care needs to be taken of this infrastructure to ensure cash remains widely accepted and easily accessible in future.