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Cash use (H3)

This data provides information about New Zealanders' cash use.

Special note

New time series for Cash use

Read more
Previous years: Quarterly:
Jun 2020 Jun 2021 Sep 2021 Dec 2021 Mar 2022 Jun 2022
Paying for everyday things (% of population)
Cash .. .. .. .. 46.9 47.5
Credit card .. .. .. .. 46.4 47.6
Debit card/EFTPOS .. .. .. .. 77.9 70.5
Cash use in past 7 days (% of population)
Never use cash .. .. .. .. 5.8 3.8
Not used cash at all in past 7 days .. .. .. .. 32.9 32.8
Once .. .. .. .. 20.1 18.5
Twice .. .. .. .. 18.9 16.4
3-6 times .. .. .. .. 13.6 17.1
7-10 times .. .. .. .. 3.9 6.3
11-20 times .. .. .. .. 1.1 2.6
More than 20 times .. .. .. .. 1.3 1.6
Value of cash stored (% of population)
$50 or less .. .. .. .. - 25.3
$51-$100 .. .. .. .. - 14.3
$101-$500 .. .. .. .. - 18.2
$501-$1000 .. .. .. .. - 7.2
$1001-$5000 .. .. .. .. - 7.5
More than $5000 .. .. .. .. - 2.9
Do not store cash .. .. .. .. - 18.6
Importance of saving (% of population)
Less important than usual to save .. .. .. .. 3.2 8.3
About the same importance as usual to save .. .. .. .. 40.1 36.2
More important than usual to save .. .. .. .. 52.9 53.3
Don't know how important it is to save .. .. .. .. 3.7 2.2

New time series for Cash use

9 June 2022

Our new H3 table shows Cash Use statistics for New Zealand households. Data for the H3 table is sourced from the RBNZ’s Tara-ā-Whare - Household Expectations Survey. We have published the following series on 9th June with Q1 and Q2 2022 data:

  • Paying for everyday things
  • Cash use in past 7 days
  • Ease of getting cash out
  • Ease of depositing cash
  • Cash stored
  • Importance of saving

The background notes and series descriptions on the table provide more information about the data and the survey methodology. If you have any questions about these new time series, please email [email protected]

Purpose of collection

The primary purpose of collecting the sample survey data shown on table H3 is to assist with monitoring changes in the cash system, particularly changing patterns of cash and other payments behaviour. The H3 table data assists the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to fulfil our role as steward of money and cash. 

Survey methodology

Periodicity

The sample survey data is collected quarterly. Fieldwork commences after the consumers price index (CPI) inflation data has been released by Stats NZ.

Survey population and sample design

Data is sourced from the RBNZ’s Tara-ā-Whare Household Expectations survey. This data is collected by the research provider, Research NZ on behalf of the Reserve Bank.

The target population is the New Zealand usually resident population aged 18+.

The survey population is the New Zealand usually resident population aged 18+ who are part of the Dynata panel. Dynata is the largest online survey panel provider in Australasia and is used as the sample frame for this survey.

New Zealand residents who aren’t on the Dynata panel are out of scope, and are not part of the survey population.

A large number of Dynata panellists who meet the survey population definition are randomly selected to participate in the online survey. They are invited to participate via an invitation email which includes a unique survey link (which means an individual can only complete the survey once). The survey is set up with quotas on gender, age, ethnicity and region to ensure a representative response (reflecting New Zealand’s make up). As specific quotas fill up, there is a move to target another wave of invitations to groups that have not yet responded as quickly. The total achieved sample is approximately n=1,000 respondents every quarter.

The survey data is weighted using RIM weighting (Random Iterative Method) on age, gender, region and ethnicity from Stats NZ Census data to ensure the data is representative of the New Zealand usually resident population aged 18+.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) receives anonymised unit record data from the research provider, which are then aggregated to produce summary statistics.

Timeliness

Data is released around the start of the third month of the reference quarter.

Access by the public

Statistics release calendar

The Statistics release calendar provides a long-term plan of scheduled releases. It is updated and released on the first working day of the month.

View the Statistics release calendar

Data for the H3 table is sourced from the RBNZ’s Tara-ā-Whare - Household Expectations Survey. The word “Tara” is derived from Pakitara, or the walls, and “Whare” means a house. Tara-ā-Whare is also used to describe going to door to door, to ask questions. This survey is run by Research NZ on behalf of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and covers a variety of topics.

For more information about cash use and the cash system in New Zealand, visit the Money and cash section.

Money and cash

Survey content and series calculations

The questions asked and the series calculations are outlined below.

The following questions are a subset of all the questions respondents are asked in the survey and represent those questions that are relevant to the H3 table. Questions 1, 2, 3 and 6 are asked on a quarterly basis. Questions 4, and 5 are asked annually in quarter 2.

Paying for everyday things

1. You can spend money in lots of different ways, like buying things in shops or buying them online. And when you spend money, there are different ways to pay. Please answer the following questions based on living in New Zealand (i.e. not overseas). Which of the ways listed below do you use to pay for everyday things such as your groceries, petrol, lunch, bus or train ticket, for example.

Please select as many options as apply

  • Considering your current situation, how important do you think it is to save money right now?
  • Cash (notes and/or coins)
  • A credit card account
  • Online banking where you do a one-off payment to a person or company
  • Debit card / EFTPOS
  • A public transport payment card (for example: Snapper, AT HOP, Metrocard)
  • Payment using a mobile phone (for example, Google pay, Apple pay, Alipay)
  • Other private digital currencies, such as Bitcoin
  • PayPal
  • Other internet payment from your bank account, e.g. POLi (which lets you pay for things online without using a credit/debit card)
  • Other way(s) of paying Please specify

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 1 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question.

Note: Percentages do not add to 100% as this is a multiple select question.

Cash use in past 7 days

2. In the past 7 days, about how many times have you used cash (i.e. notes and/or coins) to pay for everyday things such as your groceries, petrol, lunch, bus or train ticket?

  • Not at all in the past 7 days
  • Once
  • Twice
  • 3-6 times
  • 7-10 times
  • 11-20 times
  • More than 20 times
  • I never use cash
  • Don’t know

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 2 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question.

Ease of getting cash out

3. How easy is it for you personally to get some cash out from your bank account (e.g. from a bank, ATM, shop or supermarket) when you need it?

  • Very difficult
  • Somewhat difficult
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat easy
  • Very easy
  • Don’t know
  • I do not get cash out
  • I don’t have a bank account

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 3 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question.

Ease of depositing cash

4. How easy is it for you to visit a bank branch or ATM (in person) to put cash into a bank account for your personal needs (not business) when you need to?

  • Very difficult
  • Somewhat difficult
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat easy
  • Very easy
  • Don’t know
  • I do not deposit cash
  • Not applicable/I don’t have a bank account

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 4 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question

Value of cash stored

5. About how much cash (i.e. notes and/or coins) do you have stored somewhere (not in a bank, not to be used straightaway, but available if you need it? Please remember, this is a confidential survey and the results will only be reported in the form of summary statistics.

  • $50 or less
  • $51-$100
  • $101-$500
  • $501-$1,000
  • $1001-$5,000
  • More than $5,000
  • I do not store cash in this way
  • Don’t know
  • Would rather not say

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 5 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question.

Importance of saving

6. Considering your current situation, how important do you think it is to save money right now?

  • Less important than usual
  • About the same as usual
  • More important than usual
  • Don’t know

Each category is represented as a separate series in the table. The estimate for each category in question 6 is a weighted percentage. This is calculated by taking the weighted number of respondents who selected the given category and dividing this by the weighted total of respondents who answered this question.

Symbols and conventions for summary table

Symbol or convention Definition
0 Zero or value rounded to zero
- Not applicable
.. Not available
bold Revised/new
italics Provisional
Light grey background Historical

General notes

  • Individual figures may not sum to the totals due to rounding
  • Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded numbers
  • You are free to copy, distribute and adapt these statistics subject to the conditions listed on our copyright page.