Most people prefer to carry around cards to make purchases but research from the Bank of New Zealand shows Kiwis still like to keep some cash in their wallets.

The average amount? $70, according to BNZ's consumer insight report.

Findings suggest men carry more cash than women each week, around $89 to $52 respectively, and those aged between 39 and 49 tend to keep the most amount of money handy.

Aucklanders carry the most cold, hard cash out of all New Zealanders, around $100, well ahead of Wellingtonians which hold around $69 in their wallets at any given time. People living in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay carry $32, the least amount.


Younger Kiwis appear to be much less cash dependent than older generations.

Kiwis aged between 18 and 29 carry the least cash, the report found, around $61. Those aged over 50 carry $68 and people aged between 39 and 49, $79.

People with household incomes of between $75,000 and $100,000 carry about $130 in their wallets - the highest amount, and people earning either side of this bracket, either above $100,000 or below $70,000, carry $62 in their wallets.

Those with household incomes below $35,000 carried the least amount of cash.

The report found the main reason Kiwis carry around cash is for emergencies, the case for around four out of every 10 New Zealanders, followed by the preference to use it for small transactions.

On average, New Zealanders living in rural towns carry about $10 less than people living in main and regional cities.

The report found there was a relationship between the cost and how Kiwis make a purchase.

Paul Carter, chief customer officer for consumer and wealth at BNZ, says the amount of cash Kiwis carry is determined by age, gender, income and interestingly, where they live.


"If you're going to buy something like a cup of coffee, around 40 per cent of people say they'll use cash for those small transactions under five dollars.But that quickly drops away – just 20 per cent use cash when spending up to $20," says Carter.

"We also asked people if they were offered $1000, how they'd want it. Nearly 70 per cent of people wanted to keep their options open and get it as a transfer into their bank account, with only about 20 per cent of us wanting it in cash."

Just one per cent of people use cash for purchases over $500, the report found.

When spending less than $5, 40 per cent of Kiwis use cash, outlined the report. Around 19 per cent of Kiwis said they used their credit card for purchases less than $5 and 55 per cent used electronic cards when making purchases of $500.

About 35 per cent of Kiwis said they used their debit card for purchases below $5 and 52 per cent said they used it for purchases between $20 and $100. Just 36 per cent of Kiwis said they used their debit card for purchases over $500.

A survey by Mastercard found more than 80 per cent of New Zealanders use credit and or debit cards as their main method of payment.

Auckland is ranked among the world's top 10 cities leading the drive towards cashless cities, according to a study conducted by Visa last year.