Cash usage grows at 0.7 percent per year in 15 Western European (WU) countries, according to a recent PYMNTS.com Global Cash Index report.

“Overall, in these 15 countries, the total size of the payments pie is growing by 3.1 percent annually, while cash as a share of that payments pie is declining by 2.3 percent per year. So, even though the usage of cash as a share of payment tender is declining, more people are spending which is driving the growth of cash in those 15 countries up slightly—by 0.7 percent,” according to PYMNTS.com. “Together, these 15 countries are estimated to make $2.2 trillion in cash payments by 2020, the study shows.”

The countries considered as WU countries include: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Switzerland, a non-EU member, was also examined.

“The study was done in advance of the looming possibility of Brexit, which could drive the usage of cash even further,” according to PYMNTS.com.

The report distinguishes the use of cash as a payment option with the size of total payments in the GDP to measure growth.

“People use cash to pay for goods and services in almost every country. It is the most widely accepted method of payment and also accounts for most transactions, by number, in many countries. People also use cash, particular large denomination bills, as a store of value,” the Global Cash Index report states.

Cash on the rise in Western Europe