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Can Cash be Crushed? Multi-Country FinTech Survey Finds Many Adults Still Rely on Paper Money


FinTech survey also reveals Israel to be an early-adopter with Israeli adults being more likely than many to use mobile banking apps (50 percent) and mobile wallets (27 percent)

SAN FRANCISCO and COPENHAGEN, Denmark – JUNE 28, 2017   According to KPMG’s 2016 global Pulse of Financial Technology (FinTech) Report (source), Venture Capital (VC) investment in the FinTech sector reached an all time high with a total of $13.6 billion across 840 financings in 2016. While FinTech investment proved to be “hot” in 2016, has this massive investment translated into consumer adoption? Today, at Money 20/20 Europe, early-stage venture capital firm Blumberg Capital released the results of its recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll in France, Germany, Israel, United Kingdom (U.K.), and the United States (U.S.), which found that FinTech appears to be gaining traction with Israel emerging as a leader in early-adoption. Despite investment and adoption progress, cash still remains king for most of these countries such as Germany, where 75 percent of adults still use paper currency and coins to make purchases at least once a week. Can cash ever be crushed? To see the full findings, please visit

The survey, which looked at how financial technology is used in different countries, found that while mobile wallets, peer-to-peer lending, online cross-border trade and mobile banking are making an impact across all countries surveyed, wide adoption of new payment technologies, such as ApplePay®, PayPalTM and VenmoTM, have not yet penetrated all mainstream consumer groups, presenting a huge growth opportunity for the sector.

“This survey reveals a huge opportunity for FinTech companies to grow and scale as more consumers begin to recognize the benefits of FinTech and get comfortable moving beyond cash and checks,” said David Blumberg, founder and managing partner of Blumberg Capital.  “The findings suggest specific populations are enthusiastically adopting FinTech products and services while others continue to maintain more traditional methods of transacting. At Blumberg Capital, we believe that adoption of new FinTech products and services level the playing field across demographic segments and will only accelerate as bigger banks and financial institutions partner with the early-stage FinTech companies to introduce new types of products and services to consumers. We’ve made investments into many of the emerging companies at the center of the FinTech revolution and look forward to continuing to nurture the industry as it continues to grow and evolve.”

Israel Embraces FinTech Early but Cash is Still König in Germany

The findings indicate Israel as a leader in early FinTech adoption as this country is more likely than other countries surveyed to use mobile banking apps and mobile wallets to make a purchase at least once per month. Additionally, nearly one in 10 Israeli adults say they have used alternative financing/lending services within the last 12 months. While many may believe cash to be an antiquated form of payment, the survey revealed paper money is still regularly in use.

– Israeli adults are most likely to use a mobile banking app at least once a month (e.g., to check account balances, transfer funds, make a mobile deposit) (50 percent vs. 38 percent in U.S., 37 percent in U.K., 35 percent in France, 28 percent in Germany).

– Israeli adults are more likely than French, British, and American adults to use mobile wallet apps to purchase goods/services at least once a month (27 percent of Israeli adults vs. 21 percent of French adults, 18 percent of American adults, and 17 percent of British adults).

– Seven percent of Israeli adults have used alternative financing/lending services (e.g., peer-to-peer lending, online lender, lease-to-own) within the last 12 months.

– German adults are most likely to use cash to make purchases at least once a week (75 percent vs. 64 percent of British adults, 58 percent of American adults, 48 percent of French adults, 47 percent of Israeli adults).

What is Fraud Anyway?

As cybersecurity continues to dominate the headlines, there was a surprisingly low level of concern among most countries surveyed given the current risk landscape. In Blumberg Capital’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Report, findings revealed a gross overconfidence in cybersecurity knowledge and safety despite $15 billion being stolen from 13.1 million American consumers in 2015 in the U.S. alone (source). This disregard for fraud risk could indicate that consumers generally have confidence in the products and services they choose, suggesting that FinTech companies have the opportunity to educate new users on the security measures they have in place and why they are important.

– British, American and Israeli adults are more likely than French and German adults to worry about being defrauded (e.g., getting scammed, having identity stolen, having accounts hacked) when they make financial transactions online (43 percent, 39 percent, and 38 percent vs. 31 percent and 23 percent, respectively).

Nationalism vs. Globalization: Are transactions crossing borders?

The survey also looked at how often people make online cross border purchases at least once a month. Again, Israeli adults lead the charge in cross-border transactions which could reflect on the narrower range of product choice available locally in Israel compared to other countries or Israel’s acceptance and wider adoption of FinTech and international eCommerce. Additionally, people were polled regarding the costs related to cross-border transactions, which revealed a budding anticipation of increased costs for these types of purchases in the future, especially in the U.K. This belief in the U.K could be related to Brexit.  Findings include:

– Israeli adults are most likely to make online purchases outside of the country they live in at least once a month (44 percent vs. 17 percent of French adults, 14 percent of German adults, 13 percent of British adults, and 9 percent of American adults).

– 21 percent of British adults believe making online purchases outside of the country they reside will become more expensive (i.e., goods/ services will cost more and/or there will be additional fees) in the future. (Vs. 16 percent of American adults, 14 percent of German adults, 11 percent of French adults, 9 percent of Israeli adults).

FinTech Companies Weigh In

A few of the founders and CEO’s of Blumberg Capital’s portfolio companies offered additional commentary on the survey results:

“We are at a tipping point of financial technologies being implemented throughout the payment cycle. Digital banking is here, cross border transactions are here, peer-to-peer and other technologies are in place. Credorax deploys the best of FinTech in a cost-effective, localized, yet international e commerce environment.  We’re encouraged but not surprised by Blumberg’s Harris Poll Survey confirming the growing implementation of FinTech throughout the payment lifecycle.”

–Igal Rotem, CEO, Credorax 

“The survey shows that FinTech companies have developed products and services that are relevant for consumers; however, consumers still seem to have a lack of confidence in technology when their money is involved. We believe that FinTech will continue to evolve and create a whole new ecosystem of specialized players, stepping into service areas where banks have left consumers behind. We see a big opportunity in automation of financial services – which will lead to individualized offers and custom-tailored products for the consumer, which will lead to greater consumer acceptance.

— Alexander Graubner-Müller, CEO and Founder, Kreditech

“The FinTech space remains ripe for innovation, especially in the area of cross-border retail. Consumers are becoming more accustomed to making purchases regardless of the merchant’s geographical location.Merchants are looking to expand their customer bases overseas, but are concerned about high fees, declining rates, local payment preferences and more. This is where the tech sector comes in, developing solutions that help facilitate easier and more efficient international e-commerce while saving money for e-tailers and consumers alike.”

–Oren Levy, founder and CEO, Zooz


This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Blumberg Capital from May 16-22, 2017 among 2,166 American adults ages 18+, 1,046 German adults ages 18+, 1,048 French adults ages 18+, 1,050 British adults ages 18+, and 550 Israeli adults ages 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For additional information about the survey results and methodology please contact:

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