A new report by the European Central Bank on the use of cash by households in the euro area has found that the Dutch are the least likely to use cash.

According to the findings, the Dutch use cash in 45% of shop transactions, compared with an average of 79% in the entire eurozone.

As reported by Dutch News online, cash is particularly popular in southern European states, Germany and Austria, the central bank said.

The Netherlands is the only country in the eurozone where cashless payments outstrip notes and coins. Estonia is next on the list, with payments split 50:50 between digital systems and cash.

In the Netherlands, there are several retail chains that do not accept cash payments, while some supermarkets are introducing cash-free checkout desks.

In 2015, Dutch banks and retailers signed a covenant to discourage the use of cash, which they say will boost the security and efficiency of the payment system.