When living or traveling in Italy, it is always wise to have a wallet full of Euros. The cash culture is deeply rooted in Italy and it can be difficult to find businesses that accept credit cards. The Italian Banking Association is trying to change that in 2011.
Convincing business owners and employees to switch over to a cash-free system might not be easy. Some employers still pay salaries in cold hard cash rather than a check, usually to avoid paying high business taxes.
The Ministry Finance is supporting the Italian Banking Association’s push for cashless in hopes of cutting down the current 100 billion Euros that Italy loses every year to the underground economy.
While increasing the acceptance of cash-less payments may win over more tourists, most Italian residents are happy carrying banknotes. The average Italian shopper only makes 26 credit card purchases a year, 1/5 the number of times the average British consumer pays with plastic annually.
Going cash-only has an upside: Italian consumers are among the biggest savers with the least amount of debt when compared to other EU residents.