Greeks Keep Going Cashless, More Prefer Using Cards Over Money

ATHENS –  Cash is still king for many Greeks but now more are turning toward using credit and debit cards for transactions, continuing a trend that began in 2019 and accelerated when the Coronavirus pandemic struck.

The value of domestic payments through Greek cards exceeded cash – preferred for evading taxes – for the first time in 2022, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said in a survey.

Many businesses in Greece, and professionals such as doctors, lawyers and tradesmen like plumbers, will accept only cash so they can avoid taxes and get around a law requiring receipts by offering customers cash discounts.

The requirement for the use of Point-of-Service (POS) machines is typically gotten around by saying they don’t work or that the Internet is done so they can’t be connected, avoiding the data being sent to tax authorities.

IOBE said ccumulated increase of card transactions in the 2015-2022 period was more than 12 times higher the number of transactions and 500 percent more than the previous period, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

The survey also showed that the average value of transactions fell from more than 100 euros ($109.47) in 2009 to under 30 euros ($32.84) in 2022 as many countries edge closer to a cashless society.

The pandemic made more Greeks use cards for online transactions, including for supermarkets, because they were mostly locked down for months and couldn’t get out to use cash.

The overall use of card payments has remained higher than before even as the pandemic wanes, with many now using their phones as well as swiping cards onto payment machines to avoid others handling them.

The trend has been stronger for debit cards, while online transactions increase has been stronger for credit cards, where transactions can be reversed or overturned for safety and the value per transaction has decreased for all products, the report said.

IOBE said that despite the convergence with euro area average with respect to the use of card payments relative to private consumption, Greece remains in the 18th position among the 27 European Union members.

EU27 members in 2021. Hence, there is room for further boosting the use of electronic payments.

In January, a European Central Bank survey found that while Greece is moving faster into the Digital Age and emphasizing the use of credit and debit cards and transactions on mobile phones, one in three people paid in cash.

That’s the highest rate in the Eurozone, the 20 of the 27 countries in the European Union who use the euro as a currency showing that despite the upward trend of cards that many Greeks won’t let go of using cash.

Using cash also is a way of hiding transactions and protecting privacy so that people’s spending can’t be tracked, as it often is on phones unless they are using Virtual Private Networks with safe banking and payment protection.

In Greece, some 11 percent of citizens get up to 25 percent of their income in cash, more than twice the Eurozone average, said the news site Vimatisko, and many like to stash it at home, not just banks.


ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the new Cabinet at a meeting held in the Maximos Mansion on Saturday, said that he chose this first meeting after the elections to coincide with the government reshuffle "in order to send an overall message of dynamic restart because June 9 was a landmark in our up to date course but also a new start for the next three years of our term" .

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

On the dawn of Monday, June 10, the day after the European Parliament elections, a different Europe appeared, with a furrowed and darkened face indicating that the cycle of prosperity and political stability has ended and another rather vicious cycle has begun, foreshadowing adventures in the political, social, and economic realm.

Today, I will talk about a food that I associate with summer, shellfish, as that is their ‘season’ in the Mediterranean.

THRU AUGUST 4 STOCKBRIDGE, MA – ‘Microcosms: A Solo Exhibition of Selected Works’ by Peter D.

LONDON - A second generation Greek-Cypriot in London, Georgina Hayden has used her heritage to write cookbooks showing off recipes from her homeland and her latest, Greekish, offers everything from Baklava cheesecake to Burnt Butter Eggs and Goat’s Cheese.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.