The majority of Latvians have gotten used to euro; they are satisfied with euro design, quality and security. They also note benefits with using euro – no need to exchange currency when travelling and relatively similar prices. At the same time, however, residents complain about the size of change.
This is revealed by a recent study by TNS in cooperation with the Bank of Latvia in February and March.
Multiple studies carried out by TNS this year have revealed one common trend – the majority of Latvians have gotten used to the new currency and are now positive about it. One of the factors that greatly contributed to it is the design of euro notes and coins. 81% of Latvians are satisfied with the design of euro coins. 77% of Latvians are satisfied with the design of euro notes.
Residents are also satisfied with the release of new euro notes (81% of residents welcome it, 56% are rather satisfied with it and 25% are very satisfied with it).
Important factors to consider when accepting a new currency is cleanliness and quality, with which 73% of Latvians are satisfied.
Money security is a no less important factor. The majority of Latvians are satisfied with it as well: 74% are satisfied with note security and 70% – with coin security.
Bank of Latvia representative responsible for circulation of cash, Janis Blums, comments: «Euro is the currency of Europe and Latvia. The Bank of Latvia makes sure of its quality, cleanliness and convenient circulation. In order to make sure euro is protected, secure and has an interesting design, which is something in the interest of all member states, we jointly plan and coordinate work with our colleagues in the Eurosystem. We will continue working in order to make sure residents are satisfied with quality of our money. A new 20 euro note is set to be introduced in autumn 2015.»
A survey about euro use habits carried out by TNS and the Bank of Latvia at the beginning of the year reveals that even though 64% of residents feel there is too much change in their wallets, more than 57% admit they are grateful for the fact they no longer have to exchange currencies when travelling abroad. 50% of respondents admit it is now much easier to compare prices with other countries. 44% are thankful for the benefit of being able to pay for services and goods abroad using cash and non-cash money.
The convenience of being able to pay for services abroad using cash and payment cards is more often mentioned by respondents aged 15-34, residents with higher education and people with higher income (more than EUR 450 per family member), self-employed persons, company managers, officials and students. Residents aged 15-24 more often complain about the amount of change in their wallets.
TNS financial studies expert Ilva Pudule comments results of this survey: «At the beginning of euro introduction period, Latvian residents felt generally nostalgic for lat. One of the reasons was the attractive design of notes and coins. A notable amount of time has passed since then. Now we see that residents have accepted the new currency. More and more often residents speak of euro quality, security and attractive design. Residents seem especially satisfied with design of euro coins that have a Latvian woman dressed in national clothes (commonly referred to as Milda). This national symbol is an element that helps Latvians adapt and accept euro and help maintain the sense of national identity.»