Cash is still king for many Kerry holiday goers, a new survey finds


A survey of Cara Credit Union members on holiday spending shows:
• 40% purchased cash before a trip, making it the most popular payment method.
• 92% purchase cash for travel at least once per year.
• Other leading payment methods used abroad include debit cards (34%), credit cards (10%), and ATM withdrawals on a trip (6%).
Almost three-quarters (72%) of members of one Kerry Credit Union are expecting to spend more than €500 of cash as travel money on their next trip, a new survey indicates.
The research, commissioned by No1 Currency—a part of Fexco Currency within the larger fintech organisation, Fexco Group—surveyed over 3,000 credit union members from 151 different credit unions across Ireland including Cara Credit Union in Kerry.
38% of respondents from Cara Credit Union purchase cash for travel purposes more than once a year, compared with 29% nationally.
While respondents use an array of different payment methods on holiday, cash as travel money is the most popular single method, accounting for almost half (40%) of the overall spend, while 6% withdraw from ATMs during their trip. Debit cards and credit cards also remain a popular choice, at 34% and 10% respectively.
Simon Phillips, Managing Director at Fexco Currency said: “In the age of digital payments, it is very interesting to observe Irish tourists’ preference for cash when travelling abroad. At Fexco, we pride ourselves in providing competitive rates and ease of access across our network of credit union partners nationwide, and this research is especially encouraging with the finding that credit unions are a favoured and trusted source for travel money, with 72% of respondents viewing them as a valid option for these purchases”. 
The research also found that the average respondent from Cara Credit Union will book 2.2 foreign trips this year. Respondents said that price was the key factor in determining their preferred travel money provider, followed by the convenience of the providers’ location. There was a clear preference among respondents for the ability to order travel money online to collect in a branch.
Nationally, the research has found that cash is still king for many holiday goers with more than 75% of people buying cash as travel money at least once a year, and 67% expecting to spend more than €500 of cash as travel money on their next trip. 
Those aged 18 – 24 years old are the least likely to make travel money purchases prior to their trip, likely due to their usage of digital payment services; however over 72% of this age cohort still plan to purchase travel money at least once this year.
Fexco’s Retail Foreign Exchange (RFX) business has been in operation since 1981 and year on year, Fexco caters to the travel money and money transfer needs of more than two million customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland annually.