TOKYO (TR) – The Bank of Japan last week revealed that nationwide cash-based assets known as “mattress money” reached an all-time high in 2020, reports Fuji News Network (March 19).
On March 17, the bank said that cash held by individuals through last December totaled 101 trillion yen, an increase of 5.2 percent over the year before.
It was the first time the figure exceeded 100 trillion yen, the bank said.
The bank implied that the surge was due to the coronavirus pandemic. “It seems that [the increase] is based on a reduction in opportunities [for people] to go out. This resulted in a suppression of consumption,” the Bank of Japan said.
Despite a longstanding reliance on cash for transactions, the nation is slowly adopting cashless payments.
The trade ministry said last year that cashless payments accounted for 26.8 percent of all household consumption in 2019, an increase of 2.7 percentage points over the year before.
The government is targeting for cashless payments to account for 40 percent of all transactions by 2025.