This review brings together the results of the various studies on the use of the euro in the Member States participating in economic and monetary union and sets out the results of a quarterly Commission banking survey into the extent to which the euro is used in the accounts and payments of bank customers. The following conclusions can be drawn:
- use of the euro in public administrations is continuing to expand slowly in most Member States. As an example, more than 8% of customs export declarations are now made out in euros in Belgium and Luxembourg, and more than 12% in the Netherlands;
- with large firms switching over to the euro and following a wave of mergers and acquisitions, use of the euro (in value terms) for payments effected by firms has risen spectacularly and now stands at a little over 25%, compared with less than 2% in the last quarter of 1999. In Belgium and Spain the bulk of payments (in value terms) are effected in euros. While few firms currently have euro accounts, this situation is improving: almost one newly opened account in ten is now in euros. The percentage of firms who have switched over to euro accounting ranges from less than 0.3% in Italy to 8.6% in Luxembourg. Dual pricing is widespread in all the participating Member States and euro invoicing is becoming more common;
- payments in euros by individuals, which were few and far between in 1999, now stand at almost 10% of all payments in value terms, even though 55% of electronic payment terminals do not yet carry out payments in euros. Finally, there appears to be a close link between the euro and the Internet: 67% of payments in euros (in volume terms) by Visa card (excluding French motorway tolls) are a result of e-commerce.
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