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How much cash do you have lying around?

Visa study shows Japanese lose thousands per year due to cash forgotten somewhere.

PRETORIA: The average Japanese person loses an average of R3 373 per year because of cash left forgotten in the house or car, or unused foreign currency from a holiday or business trip. South Africans are more frugal, or simply have less money to lose – R508 on average.

These are some of the findings from the Visa Payment Attitudes Study. Mandy Lamb, Country Manager for Visa in South Africa, uses these results to highlight, from Visa’s viewpoint, how much better it is to use cards than cash.

“Keeping track of cash can be a hassle, especially with today’s busy – and increasingly globe-trotting – lifestyle. At the same time, people need a secure place to store their funds that they can access anytime, anywhere. We’ve long known that carrying cash can be inconvenient and unreliable, and we now know from this research that consumers are out of pocket by using cash too,” she said.

The global average across all the markets where Visa conducted the study indicates that consumers at any one time have about R739 lying around in cars, homes and offices.

The average amount that people are bringing back home in unused foreign currency is R2 633 – again for South Africa this is much less on R129.

The table below shows there is a definite link between the level of income in a country and the amount of cash that is left lying around without being properly used, or lost.

Country figures across Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (Source: Visa)

Country Loose change around house/car/office (USD) Unused foreign currency (USD) Total (USD)
Australia $57 (R527) $304 (R2 809) $361 (R3 336)
India $140 (R1 294) $20 (R185) $160 (R1 479)
Indonesia $21 (R194) $1 (R9) $22 (R203)
Japan $337 (R3 114) $12 (R111) $349 (R3 225)
Russia $92 (R850) $45 (R416) $137 (R1 266)
Singapore $31 (R286) $625 (R5 775) $656 (R6 061)
South africa $41 (R379) $14 (R129) $55 (R508)
South korea $25 (R231) $1 (R9) $26 (R240)
Taiwan $92 (R850) $1 (R9) $93 (R859)
Thailand $42 (R388) $24 (R222) $66 (R610)
UAE $82 (R758) $92 (R850) $174 (R1 608)
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