Cashless Society: Cross-Country Comparison of Key Drivers

Francesc Aubia Ferré & Bruno Rita Real Caldas Simões

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the past few decades, the Cashless Society has attracted the attention of some studies and a great deal of expectations has been raised in this regard. Regardless of the widespread literature addressing the topic, no relevant publications have tried to analyse the factors that contribute to making a country move towards a Cashless Society from an empirical and holistic perspective. The purpose of this thesis is to identify the main drivers that lead to a Cashless Society, as well as the interaction between these drivers and the resulting impact on the level of cashlessness. In order to solve this knowledge gap in the existing academia, a statistical model has been developed with the aim of validating the initial hypothesised drivers -based on previous research- and measuring their influence across countries. Our findings suggest that the level of cashlessness in a country is influenced by 6 drivers: (1) Degree of Digitalization; (2) Digital Trust & Privacy Concerns; (3) Legal Framework; (4) Maturity of the Banking Industry; (5) Transparency & Corruption, and (6) Economic Development & Financial Inclusion. The outcomes of our analysis reveal that the Degree of Digitalization; Maturity of the Banking Industry and Economic Development & Financial Inclusion have a positive impact on the level of cashlessness. Conversely, Digital Trust & Privacy has a negative effect. As for the Legal Framework, it is a double-edged sword as previously suggested in the existing literature. This study contributes to the understanding of the payments digitalization phenomenon and can inspire further research intended, for instance, to analyse the consequences of a Cashless Society.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages79
SupervisorsJonas Hedman