BUDAPEST, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Hungarian government supports cash-free payment methods, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement published here on Friday.
"Hungary's government supports no-cash solutions, which have a crucial role in whitening the economy," said State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Gabor Gion, quoted by the statement.
Gion explained that two-thirds of payments in Hungary were still made in cash.
Hungary's cash stock is worth some 6,000 billion forints (20.7 billion U.S. dollars), or 14 percent of the country's GDP, Gion said, adding that 4,500 billion forints of that amount was kept with residents.
Printing, safekeeping, transportation, and handling of cash is also a heavy burden for the state, and the budget spends 450 billion forints each year on these tasks, Gion added.
"By reducing the use of cash, this amount could also be reduced, and the funds freed up could be used by the government to improve the competitiveness of businesses," the secretary of state underlined.
Among the steps taken to discourage cash use, the Secretary of State mentioned the POS support program launched by the ministry, which increased the number of commercial card accepting terminals from 102,000 to 144,000 over the last three years, 86 percent of which are suitable for contactless and mobile payments. (1 U.S. dollar = 289.85 HUF)