The social costs in the Netherlands for cash and debit card payments are among the lowest in Europe according to a recently published ECB study on the social costs of providing retail payment services in 13 EU countries in 2009 (click here for the ECB study).
Measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the combined social costs for cash and debit card payments in the Netherlands amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, i.e. 0.42% GDP (Chart 1). This is much lower than the EU average of 0.59% GDP. It only goes to show how efficiently Dutch market parties have set up payments.
If the Netherlands had been performing at the average European level, the costs would have been one billion euro higher. The most important reason why the Netherlands is one of the most efficient countries for payments is because debit card payments are relatively popular.