In 2022, the average number of digital payments per merchant increased 17% over 2021 and 128% over 2019, the year before the pandemic. The value of the average cashless transaction also increases: +10% compared to 2021, +61% when compared to 2019. These are some of the numbers from the annual analysis of the Cashless Payments Observatory 2022 by SumUp, a fintech that develops cashless and digital solutions for small businesses.

Recording the highest growth, according to the report, are Valle d’Aosta (+43.5 percent), Lazio (+28.7 percent) and Lombardia (+25.4 percent), while as for the sectors that have pushed the accelerator on digital payments in the last year, cabs (+86.8 percent compared to 2021), entertainment related to music, concerts and cinema (+64.5 percent), and cafes and restaurants (+50.5 percent) stand out.

“Italy in recent years has seen an important acceleration of cashless payments, derived partly from the health emergency, partly from the institutional push. Incentives aimed at merchants such as the tax credit and those aimed at consumers such as the State Cashback and the receipt lottery have consolidated the habit of digital payments,” explained Giovanni Barbieri, Senior Strategic Growth Manager for SumUp.

Also pushing indicators in the latest period was the impact of the PNRR Decree 2, which introduced a penalty for merchants who do not accept card payments. In July, the first month after the sanctions took effect, there was a 13.3 percent increase in the average number of transactions per merchant compared to the previous month, but with a “spotty” effect.

For some, the boost was sharper: those involved in music, concerts and cinema recorded +110.3 percent more cashless transactions than in June, those in tourism +54.7 percent and bars and restaurants +24.2 percent. For others, however, growth was more timid: the clothing sector in July averaged only 9.1 percent more transactions, while for beauticians, hairdressers and barbers the sign was even negative (-2.1 percent).

Same differentiated trend in the regions where Valle d’Aosta (+45.4 percent), Trentino-Alto Adige (+32.5 percent) and Calabria (+28.9 percent) are met with stronger numbers, while in Piedmont (+7.6 percent) Lazio (+6 percent) and Lombardy (+2.8 percent) the growth is less significant.

The data also revealed another trend: the average cashless receipt is getting smaller year after year. In fact, in 2022 it stood at 40.8 euros, showing a steady decline from 2019 (-30%), when it was at 57.9; after that, it hit 51.3 in 2020 and 43.4 in 2021.

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