Coronavirus reflected in patterns of payments and cash use

06/22/2020 / Press release

The sharp decline in economic indicators caused by the Covid-19 epidemic and the extensive lockdown measures have also been reflected in the functioning of payment systems and the supply of cash to the market. Banka Slovenije has therefore conducted analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on patterns of payments and cash use. The analysis covers the period of 1 February to 31 May, and focuses on the amount of net cash issuance (i.e. the amount of cash issued into circulation minus the amount of cash returned from circulation), cash withdrawals at ATMs, and card payments.

Similarly to other European countries, when the epidemic was declared in Slovenia demand for cash was seen to rise dramatically, particularly for the purpose of cash as a store of value. The largest increase in demand for cash (in the sense of net issuance) was seen immediately after the epidemic was declared, when people rushed to the shops to buy essentials before the lockdown began. Many people also built up reserves of cash at this time.

The epidemic was also reflected in patterns of card payments. Until 13 March, there were an average of roughly 650,000 card transactions per day, with a total value of approximately EUR 20 million. By the end of the epidemic, average daily volume had fallen to roughly 474,000 transactions with a total value of approximately EUR 17 million, having been significantly lower in the days after the pandemic was declared.

The analysis is undergoing translation.