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S. Koreans increasingly go cashless: BOK survey

All News 15:05 April 16, 2019

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean people are increasingly going cashless as more people rely on credit cards and digital payment tools, a survey by the Bank of Korea (BOK) showed Tuesday.

Korean households had an average 78,000 won (US$68.60) in cash in their wallets at any given time in 2018, down 33 percent from three years ago, according to the triennial survey.

People in their 20s had an average 54,000 won, compared with 67,000 won for people in their 30s, 91,000 won for people in their 40s and 105,000 won for people in their 50s.

S. Koreans increasingly go cashless: BOK survey - 1

Cash accounted for only about 20 percent of all payments in South Korea last year, according to the BOK.

The BOK has also made efforts to phase out cash from the market to reduce the cost of producing new currency.

The BOK spent 6.17 billion won (US$5.4 million) to replace damaged banknotes and coins last year.

Under the BOK-led "coinless society project," launched last year, consumers can deposit small change left from the purchase of goods into prepaid mobile cards that can be later used at convenience stores and department stores.

Earlier this month, Starbucks Coffee Korea Co. said it will increase the number of cashless stores to 759 outlets across South Korea this year.

More than 60 percent of the 1,280 stores operated by Starbucks Coffee Korea will only accept credit cards and mobile payment systems, the company said.

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