Press release

Brussels, 13 June 2024 – The European Digital Payments Industry Alliance (EDPIA) is pleased to announce the publication of the Oxford Economics white paper The environmental impact of digital over cash payments in Europe.

With the study, EDPIA wants to contribute to and engage in the public debate on how the payment value chain can take actively part in achieving a low carbon economy and showcase which areas are likely to deliver the best decarbonization potentials.

Oxford Economics has based the white paper on two Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to measure the environmental impact of both cash and digital payments at point of sale in 2022 in three Eurozone countries that each have a different digital payment maturity level – Finland, Germany, and Italy.

Overall, the authors have found that, in 17 out of 18 impact categories subject to the analysis, digital payment has a lower environmental impact than cash: a cash payment emits as much CO2 as 2.1 digital payments in Italy, 5.9 in Germany, and 23.5 in Finland. This means that if an average consumer chose to only pay via digital payment, in one year they would save the equivalent in CO2 of 37 single-use plastic bags in Italy, 49 in Germany, and 74 in Finland.

The impact varies according to the country’s development of the digital payment infrastructure. Finland, for example, is the most advanced among the three countries, with the lowest usage of cash, which leads to a low usage of the overall cash system, the existence of a very few ATMs, with a longer distance to travel to find one.

Based on the findings, EDPIA members Aircash, Nexi, Teya, Viva Wallet, and Worldline, have worked on a roadmap of initial recommendations for policymakers and industry with the aim of significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the payment’s sector.

Please click on the links below for the full press release, the complete study and the infographic, as well as our recommendations.


The European Digital Payments Industry Alliance (EDPIA) represents the interests of European independent Payment Services Providers. Its purpose is to contribute to EU policy debates that define the business environment for electronic payments, and to strengthen the visibility and understanding of the European payments industry amongst policy makers and society as a whole. EDPIA’s broader objective is to support the EU’s objective to create a Digital Single Market, fuelled by digital payments. It is in favour of a strong, stable and properly enforced European regulatory framework that enables intense competition between transparent and market-based solutions, allowing them to compete for the trust of their European and global clients.

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