Regional Differences in Retail Payment Habits in Italy
24 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020
Date Written: September 29, 2020
Economic operators have a number of different procedures and instruments for regulating their cashless monetary transactions safely and quickly. Nevertheless, divergences in the use of non-cash payment instruments persist among European countries and, in Italy, between the Centre and North and the southern regions. In this paper, we study which factors are associated with the backwardness of South and Islands in the use of non-cash payment instruments. We focus on the period 2013-18, when there was a widespread increase in non-cash transactions among the main advanced economies, spurred by technological innovation and the new legal framework supporting security, efficiency and transparency in digital payments. We find that the main factors associated with a lower demand for cash are technological innovation in payments and the population’s digital skills and education levels; criminality and tax evasion are also significantly and positively correlated to the use of cash, but their correlations with the observed heterogeneity among Italian provinces are not predominant.
Keywords: payment instruments, cash demand, retail payments, technological innovation
JEL Classification: E41, E42, G21, G23
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