Preliminary Review of the Impact of COVID-19 on Cash in Greece and Cyprus

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    The purpose of this paper is to carry out a preliminary review of the existing literature about cashless society and the impact of COVID-19 on cash in Greece and Cyprus. A ‘war on cash’ will soon take place, as cash is thought of as a curse, and paper money is thought of as being unsanitary due to the coronavirus outbreak. Coins and paper currencies are considered a risk for public health, although transmission probability is low, compared with other more commonly touched objects. Data about the use of cash are being analysed. The ratio of cash to GDP in Greece and Cyprus from 2010 to 2020 increased rather than decreased and is above other countries. Cash is a convenient method of payment for low-value payments. Ratio is lower in Cyprus than in Greece and both countries have a high cash to GDP ratio in comparison with other digitalised countries, such as Sweden, while the number of confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus for Greece and Cyprus until the end of May 2021 were lower than expected. The population in Greece and Sweden is about the same (10.38 million people in Sweden and 10.42 million people in Greece). In the future, technological developments about payments will have an impact on cash usage all over the world. The coronavirus pandemic will increase the need to support cash and, at the same time, call for digital currencies from a central bank.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-36
    Number of pages18
    JournalCyprus Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


    • cashless society
    • coronavirus
    • COVID-19
    • Cyprus
    • digital money
    • Greece
    • paper money
    • SARS-CoV-2


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