How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?

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1 DNB Occasional Studies Vol.10/No.2 (2012) Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants? DNB Occasional Studies Nicole Jonker, Anneke Kosse and Lola Hernández

2 Central bank and prudential supervisor of financial institutions 2012 De Nederlandsche Bank NV Authors: Nicole Jonker, Anneke Kosse and Lola Hernández Aim of the Occasional Studies is to disseminate thinking on policy and analytical issues in areas relevant to the Bank. Views expressed are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect official positions of De Nederlandsche Bank. Editorial Committee Jakob de Haan (chairman), Eelco van den Berg (secretary), Hans Brits, Pim Claassen, Maria Demertzis, Peter van Els, Jan Willem van den End, Maarten Gelderman and Bram Scholten. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Nederlandsche Bank. Subscription orders for DNB Occasional Studies and requests for specimen copies should be sent to: De Nederlandsche Bank NV Communications P.O. Box AB Amsterdam The Netherlands Internet:

3 Occasional Studies Vol.10/No.2 (2012) Nicole Jonker, Anneke Kosse and Lola Hernández Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants? 1 1 Comments made by Hans Brits are gratefully acknowledged as well as comments made by an anonymous referee. Views expressed in this study do not necessarily coincide with those of de Nederlandsche Bank. Contact details: Lola Hernández: Nicole Jonker: and Anneke Kosse:

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5 Cash usage in the Netherlands Table of contents Abstract 7 1 Introduction 9 2 Research method and sample Research scope and research population Sample Research method Recruitment of respondents and data collection Weighting and adjustment 13 3 Cash payments in the Netherlands in Total number and value of cash payments The use of cash relative to the amount paid The use of cash payments by market segment The use of cash during the week 22 4 Who uses cash? Number of cash payments per person per day Share of cash payments in the total number of payments Amount of cash in people s pockets How people acquire cash 28 5 Constraints Perceived constraints for each payment instrument Used instrument vs preferred instrument Perceived constraints according to personal characteristics Recorded and desired pos payment behaviour in International comparison Pos payment behaviour Research methods used Conclusions 43 References 45 Appendix I composition of sample 49 5

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7 Cash usage in the Netherlands Abstract Having accurate information on cash usage is essential for monitoring the substitution process of cash by cards and for assessing the cost efficiency of the payment system. Moreover, estimates on cash usage reflect the transaction demand for cash. This is useful for central banks which are responsible for producing and issuing banknotes. The latest estimates of the number and value of cash payments made in the Netherlands date from How has cash usage developed since then? In what branches do consumers use cash and what type of consumers still rely heavily on cash? These questions and others are analysed using a one-day diary survey held in September 2010 in which 7,499 Dutch consumers documented their daily transactions. We find that Dutch consumers made about 5 billion cash payments in Although the majority of purchases are paid in cash, its role has steadily decreased due to increasing debit card usage. Cash is mainly used for low-value transactions, and especially the elderly and lower educated people still rely heavily on cash. Overall, the Dutch are able to pay the way they want. Only in 3% of transactions they had no choice but to use another means of payment as the one preferred. 7

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9 Cash usage in the Netherlands 1 Introduction Both the Dutch central bank (DNB) and the relevant stakeholders on the Dutch payments market have a need to keep abreast of the trends in the use of cash in the Netherlands. Research has shown that the social costs of paying differ according to payment instrument. In general, a cash transaction is found to be more expensive for banks, retailers and the society as a whole than a debit card payment. 2 This has created a huge demand for up-to-date and reliable information on the number of cash payments and the proportion of aggregate payments accounted for by cash, since it allows for a better understanding of how total payment costs change over the years. In addition, as DNB is responsible for the issue of new bank notes and the circulation of notes and coin in the Netherlands, the bank needs to obtain a clear picture of the use of cash in the Netherlands. This has become increasingly difficult as, since the introduction of the euro, no statistics have been kept on the number and value of bank notes and coins in circulation in the individual eurozone countries. The most recent estimate of the use of cash in the Netherlands dates from 2007, when the Dutch made around 5.2 billion cash payments. To monitor the annual trend in the number and value of cash transactions, DNB launched a series of annual, comprehensive surveys in The first survey was conducted from 6 September to 5 October 2010, when 7,499 consumers kept a diary of all their payments during the course of a single day. A questionnaire was then used in order to collect and analyse the information on these transactions. This study reports on the main findings and conclusions of this first survey. It gives a clear picture both of how consumers in the Netherlands paid for their point-of-sale (POS) purchases in 2010 and of the trend since The relevance of this study is to shed light on the payment behaviour of Dutch consumers, and in particular on the diminishing role of cash over time. We show that the Dutch made some 5 billion cash payments in Of these, 4.4 billion were made in shops and at other points-of-sale (POS). These cash transactions represented 65% of all POS payments, making cash the most frequently used means of payment at the POS in terms of numbers of transactions. The use 2 See for example EIM (2011) and Bolt and Chakravorti (2010). 9

10 made of cash at the POS is, however, on the decline, mainly because debit card payments are growing increasingly popular. 3 Indeed, the number of cash payments has fallen by 17% in three years time. At the same time, the number of debit card payments rose by 38% from 1.6 billion to 2.2 billion between 2007 and The value of debit card purchases outstripped that of cash already a long time ago. In 2010, total POS cash payments were worth EUR 53 billion, representing 38% of the aggregate value of POS transactions in the Netherlands. In addition to POS payments, consumers made 674 million cash transactions in 2010 as a means of giving money to relatives, friends or charity. The total value of these person-to-person payments was EUR 8.6 billion. Our results also show that in the vast majority of cases, Dutch consumers use the instrument of their choice when making payments. They were forced to resort to other instruments in less than 3% of transactions. Overall, there would have been 1.7% fewer cash payments and 2.4% more debit card payments in 2010 if consumers had been able to pay with their instrument of choice. The fact that consumers do not always pay as they would like is due mainly to retailers not always accepting their instrument of choice, charging a small fee for using it, or because a POS terminal is temporarily out of order. In addition to these constraints, consumers sometimes fail to use their preferred means of payment because they forget to bring it with them. This study proceeds as follows: chapter 2 briefly discusses the research method and sample used and chapter 3 describes the findings relating to the use of payment instruments in the Netherlands. More specifically, it analyses the use of cash by market segment, transaction value, and the day of the week. Chapter 4 then describes the impact of personal characteristics on the use of cash, and also discusses the amount of money the Dutch carry in their pockets and how they obtain their cash. Chapter 5 highlights perceived constraints in payments, and chapter 6 compares our study findings with those of other countries. Chapter 7 presents our main conclusions. 3 According to EIM (2011), the decrease in cash payments in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2009 is only partly due to the changeover from cash to debit card payments. Other explanations are the drop in the overall volume of POS purchases and the rise in the average transaction amount, possible caused by the growing importance of e-commerce and one-stop shopping. 10

11 Cash usage in the Netherlands 2. Research method and sample 2.1 Research scope and research population The aim of this study is to analyse the number and value of cash payments made in the Netherlands in In order to bring into focus the role played by cash, we will also take into account all other POS payment instruments. Our study is limited to payments made in the Netherlands by Dutch residents over 12 years of age. As a result, the sample population consists of 13,860,200 people. Transactions made by Dutch consumers abroad, children below the age of 12, tourists and other non-residents have been disregarded. We have looked both at payments made at the POS (including street vendors and vending machines) and at payments made among individuals, such as relatives, colleagues, and friends, i.e. person-to-person payments. Internet purchases and bank transfers have been disregarded. 2.2 Sample The fieldwork was carried out by Heliview Research between Monday 6 September and Tuesday 5 October In order to be able to draw reliable conclusions on the use of cash by the entire Dutch population in 2010, Heliview Research took a representative sample from their consumer panel based on the following demographic aspects: gender, age, ethnicity and education. Other items factored into the sample were region, country of origin and income bracket. All seven research segments were based on the definitions produced by Statistics Netherlands, the national statistics office. As purchasing and payment behaviour differs from day to day, the assessments were spread evenly over 31 days. For every day and every week, the number of respondents was sufficiently large and representative in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, education, region, country of origin and income bracket. A total of 7,499 respondents took part in the study. See Appendix I for the final composition and size of the sample. 11

12 2.3 Research method Respondents were asked to keep a diary of all their payments on one predetermined day. Previous research had shown that keeping a diary in this way helps respondents keep an accurate record of all their purchases, including small, everyday items. If other methods are used, they tend to forget these kinds of payments, for instance if they are called at the end of the day and asked about the purchases they made that day, or if they are asked to record their purchases in a diary for a period of longer than one day (Sudman and Bradburn, 1973; Gibson and Kim, 2007; Tincello et al., 2007; Jonker and Kosse, 2009; Schmidt, 2011). The respondents were asked to record the following transaction details: Date, day and time of day (i.e. morning, afternoon or evening); Place of purchase (choosing from 16 pre-defined market segments); Payment instrument used; Transaction value. We made very clear to the respondents that, even if they had performed no transactions at all on the respective day, this was still relevant information. So respondents were asked to complete their diaries even if this was the case. They were also asked to record the amount of money that they had on them at the start of the day, how much money they had withdrawn, and/or received during the day, and how much money they had left at the end of the day. Respondents could use their completed transaction diaries to jog their memories when filling in the questionnaire provided to them the next day. The questionnaire asked them about all the payments they had made the day before. In order to obtain a better picture of their motives in choosing a payment instrument on each occasion, they could also indicate for each payment whether or not they would have preferred to use another means of payment than the one actually used. If this was indeed the case, they were then asked about their preferred payment instrument and why they had used another means of payment than they had intended. The questionnaire also included a number of social demographic questions. 2.4 Recruitment of respondents and data collection We used a combination of web-based and telephone-based methods for recruiting respondents and for collecting the answers to the questionnaire. Of the final net sample of 7,499 people, 7,147 respondents completed an on-line questionnaire and 352 respondents responded by telephone. Of these, 199 ended up by filling in an on-line questionnaire after all. 12

13 Cash usage in the Netherlands The on-line process, from sending out the invitations to forwarding the reminders, was performed in conjunction with PanelClix and took four days per respondent. On day 1, the respondents received an announcing the study. They were asked to download the diary, fill it in the following day, and complete the on-line questionnaire two days later. As the respondents were obliged to confirm their participation in the study, and because there were two days between the confirmation and the actual questionnaire, the final sample could, if necessary, be adjusted if either the total response rate or the rate of response in specific sub-segments, was relatively low. On day 2, the respondents received an reminding them that their diaries would have to be filled in that day. On day 3, the respondents received a link to the on-line questionnaire, which they could fill in with the aid of their completed diaries until midnight on the same day. On day 4, respondents who had not yet filled in their questionnaires received a reminder. If they did not want to fill in the questionnaire, they were asked to complete a brief non-response form. A telephone survey was held at the same time as the on-line survey, to ensure that people who make no or hardly any use of the internet were adequately represented in the sample. The respondents were approached by telephone and asked if they wanted to take part in the survey. Those agreeing to take part on-line were sent a link to the diary and the on-line questionnaire, as described above. Those wishing to take part by telephone were sent the diary by mail. They were called again the day after they had filled the diary and were interviewed by telephone. 2.5 Weighting and adjustment As the final composition of the sample was not completely consistent with the composition of the research population (see also Appendix 1), the study findings were reweighed to account for gender, age, education and ethnicity differences. The results were also adjusted in accordance with the day of the week. As the responses were not evenly distributed over the days of the week (e.g. payments made on Mondays and Tuesdays were measured five times, whereas the other days were only counted four times), an adjustment was made to make sure that every daily average was equally represented in the aggregate average. This cancelled out the oversampling on Mondays and Tuesdays. In order to make a realistic estimate of the total number of cash payments in the Netherlands in 2010, the total research population was adjusted to account for the fact that not everyone was able to make payments. The latter category includes inmates of penitentiary institutions, people with a severe physical or mental disability, people in hospital, expatriates, business travellers and holiday-makers. The size of these groups is estimated at 1,434,086, bringing the final research population to 12,426,

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15 Cash usage in the Netherlands 3 Cash payments in the Netherlands in Total number and value of cash payments In 2010, consumers in the Netherlands made a total of 7.4 billion payments by means of cash, debit cards, prepaid cards or credit cards (see table 1). The total value of these payments was EUR 147 billion. The vast majority of these payments were made in shops, bars, restaurants and petrol stations, as well as at vending machines and market stalls and to service-providers. These are referred to collectively as POS payments. 9% of these payments were of the nature of payments among individuals or donations to charity. Consumers mainly used cash for these kinds of payments, as bank cards are generally not suited for this purpose. In addition to cash payments, consumers also used bank transfers for payments to other individuals and donations to charity. These have not been included in our study. Table 1: Number and value of payments in the Netherlands in Number (in millions) Value (in billions of euros) Average value (EUR ) Cash payments 5, POS 4, Person-to-Person Debit cards 2, Prepaid cards Credit cards Total payments 7, POS 6, Apart from cash, debit cards, prepaid cards and credit cards, respondents used other payment instruments such as fuel cards, affinity cards and public transport prepaid cards. Due to their low frequency of usage, these instruments have not been included in Table 1, Diagram 1 or Diagram 2. 15

16 Diagram 1: Number and value of POS payments in 2007 and 2010 In billions Cash Debit card Prepaid card Credit card In billions of euros Cash Debit card Prepaid card Credit card To pay for their POS purchases, consumers made 4.4 billion cash payments and 2.2 billion debit card payments. 5 Cash was used primarily for minor purchases, bringing the total value of cash payments (EUR 62 billion) below that of all debit card payments (EUR 81 billion). Prepaid cards and credit cards were used sparingly: prepaid cards mostly for paying small amounts, while credit cards were used for paying large amounts. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of cash POS payments declined by 17% from 5.2 billion to 4.4 billion (see diagram 1). This is due mainly to the fact that the Dutch are making more and more use of their debit cards, but probably also to the fact that they are purchasing from a smaller number of shops. This is confirmed by the increase in the value of the average cash payment, standing at just over EUR 12, up from well below EUR 10 in Diagram 2 shows that debit cards have become much more popular, and cash less popular, during the past three years. Between 2007 and 2010, the proportion of POS payments accounted for by debit card payments climbed by 9 percentage points from 23% to 32%, whereas cash payments fell from 74% to 65%. Looking at the trend in debit card payments as a percentage of the total value of all POS payments, the growth rate is much less sharp, i.e. 3 percentage points from 56% to 59%. There has been a comparable decline in the proportion of cash payments, from 41% to 38%. The main reason for this is that consumers have started using their debit cards to pay for smaller amounts, which is why growth in numbers is much higher than growth in terms of the size of the payments. If consumers continue in the same vein in the years ahead, debit card payments will gradually account for an increasing share of POS payments, and there will be a slight increase in the proportion of consumer spending accounted for by debit card payments. 5 The annual figures for payments by debit card and prepaid card were obtained from Currence (2011). The number of reported debit card payments by our respondents overestimated the true number of debit card payments by about 20%. There are no indications that the number of cash payments were overestimated as the number matched the figure found by EIM (2011) fairly well. 16

17 Cash usage in the Netherlands Diagram 2: Usage of POS payment instruments in 2007 and Prepaid card 2% Debit card 23% Proportion of total number of POS payments 2010 Credit card 0.5% Debit card 32% Prepaid card Credit card 3% 0.5% Cash 74% Cash 65% 2007 Prepaid card 0.4% Proportion of total value of POS payments Credit card 3% Cash 41% 2010 Prepaid card 0.4% Credit card 3% Cash 38% Debit card 56% Debit card 58% The amount of use made of prepaid cards has remained virtually unchanged during the past three years, whilst the use made of credit cards has edged up from 33 million in 2007 to 36 million transactions in 2010 (MOB, 2011). 3.2 The use of cash relative to the amount paid Most payments made by consumers are small. They seldom pay large amounts. Over one in three payments is worth less than EUR 5, while only three in 100 purchases involve EUR 100 or more. The average consumer payment is worth EUR Diagram 3 shows the distribution of payments made in 2010, broken down by payment instrument. At the forefront are cash payments of up to EUR 5: no fewer than 27% of all purchases have a maximum value of EUR 5 and are paid in cash. As shown by previous international studies (see Boeschoten, 1998; Bounie and François, 2006; Jonker, 2007; Klee, 2008; and Von Kalckreuth et al., 2009), the way in which consumers pay correlates closely with the amount paid: small amounts are mostly paid in cash, whilst debit cards are used relatively often for large amounts. The 17

18 Diagram 3: Breakdown of POS payment instruments by transaction value in % 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 5% 3% 1% 1% 5% 7% 27% 0.3% 14% 12% 4% 0.2% 1% 3% 0.2% 4% 0.1% 4% 2% 2% 1% 2% 2% 1% < >= 100 Cash Debit card Other point at which consumers prefer to use debit cards rather than cash lies between EUR 20 and EUR 30. However, consumers are more inclined to pay a large amount in cash than to use their debit cards to pay small amounts. Compared with 2007, consumers used their debit cards more often in 2010 to pay for small amounts of up to EUR 20, and cash less often (see diagram 4). In three years time, debit card payments as a proportion of aggregate payments of up to EUR 20 rose from 13% to 20%, while the proportion accounted for by cash fell from 83% to 71%. Not only are consumers using their debit cards more often to pay for small amounts, they have also adopted new payment instruments, such as the public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart) to pay for public transport, and mobile phones to pay parking fees. Diagram 4: The use of cash, debit cards and other payment instruments to pay for amounts of up to EUR 20 (in 2007 and 2010) 2007 debit card 13% other 4% 2010 debit card 20% other 9% cash 83% cash 71% 18

19 Cash usage in the Netherlands 3.3 The use of cash payments by market segment Consumers taking part in the study also specified the market segments in which they spent their money. Diagram 5 shows the breakdown of all cash spending in the Netherlands by market segment, in terms of both numbers and value. In addition to payments made in shops, hotels, bars and restaurants and fuel stations, and to street vendors, the figures include spending on charity and payments between individuals, such as between relatives, friends and acquaintances. The most popular location for cash payments is the supermarket: a quarter of all cash payments are made there. This applies to both the number of transactions and the size of the payments. That said, for efficiency and safety reasons, Dutch supermarkets have launched a campaign to encourage customers to pay with debit cards rather than with cash. The supermarkets share of overall cash payments may therefore decline in the years ahead. Consumers also often use cash to pay for drinks and meals in bars and restaurants: 14% of all cash payments, representing Diagram 5: Breakdown of cash payments by market segment in 2010 Supermarkets Hotels, bars and restaurants Food/tobacco shops Non-food retail, low value purchase Vending machine Street vending Fuel stations Leisure, culture and entertainment Department stores Interior decoration, DIY and garden centres Retail clothing Service providers Transport Non-food retail, high value purchase Other Charity Family, friends, acquaintainces 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Number Value 19

20 10% of cash spending, are made there. In the third place are shops selling food, drinks and tobacco; 10% of all cash payments are made here. Cash is used least in shops selling high-value non-food items such as consumer electronics, household appliances, jewellery, and opticians and bicycle shops. 1% of all cash payments are made in these types of shops, and the items that are paid for in cash here are in fact relatively expensive. In terms of value, 10% of all cash payments are made in these shops, thus taking this segment to the same spending level as hotels, bars and restaurants in terms of value. Consumers also use cash to transfer money to relatives, friends and acquaintances (representing 8% in terms of numbers and 12% in terms of value), charity and good causes (representing 6% in terms of numbers and 1% in terms of value). The fact that most cash payments are made in supermarkets is in itself not very surprising, as the supermarket is the place where the vast majority of payments are made. In order to get a better picture of the role played by cash, we therefore need to look at the total number of payments made in each of the segments and also at the other payment instruments used by consumers. Diagram 6 shows the relative use made of cash by market segment as compared with debit cards and other payment instruments, in terms of both numbers and transaction value. The role played by cash clearly differs sharply from one segment to another. In segments in which purchase values are relatively high, such as fuel stations and fashion and shoe shops, consumers pay with debit cards relatively often. In segments with low average purchase values, such as street vending, bars and restaurants, leisure and cultural institutions, and shops selling food, drinks and tobacco, consumers generally use cash. However, the differences in cash usage across market segments, may also reflect the different levels of penetration of payment terminals across the different types of stores and market segments 6, or differences in retailers explicit pricing of payment instruments. Rysman (2007) and Bolt, Humphrey and Uittenbogaard (2008), for example, demonstrate that consumers choice of payment instruments is highly correlated with the level of card acceptance by retailers, and Bolt et al. (2010) show that consumers react strongly to the explicit pricing of payment instruments by retailers. So although diagram 5 revealed that consumers make the majority of their cash payments in supermarkets, diagram 6 shows that a significant proportion of payments is made by debit card: 60% of all payments were in cash and 40% by debit card. In terms of value, the debit card is actually dominant: 62% of total 6 About 90% of all Dutch retail traders are able to accept debit card payments. The levels of penetration of payment terminals, however, considerably differ across different types of stores: supermarkets (100%), fuel stations (100%), fashion stores (97%), specialized food stores (82%), catering (64%) and street vendors (28%) (HBD, 2010; EIM, 2011). 20

21 Cash usage in the Netherlands Diagram 6: Usage of payment instruments by market segment in 2010 Proportion of total number of payments, by market segment 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Supermarket Food/tobacco shop Retail clothing Non-food retail, low value purchase Non-food retail, high value purchase Interior decoration, DIY and garden centres Department stores Vending machine Fuel stations Hotels, bars and restaurants Street vending Leisure, culture and entertainment Transport Service providers Other Charity Family, friends, acquaintainces Proportion of total value by spending, by market segment 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Supermarket Food/tobacco shop Retail clothing Non-food retail, low value purchase Non-food retail, high value purchase Interior decoration, DIY and garden centres Department stores Vending machine Fuel stations Hotels, bars and restaurants Street vending Leisure, culture and entertainment Transport Service providers Other Charity Family, friends, acquaintainces Cash Debit card Other spending in supermarkets is by debit card as opposed to 37% in cash. The relatively high usage made of other payment instruments in the transport segment is worth noting. This is due to the fact that consumers often use sector-specific payment instruments such as public transport prepaid cards in the transport sector. Cash is by far the most popular payment instrument for donations to charity and person-to-person payments. The payments industry is currently developing electronic payment instruments such as mobile phones, to enable people to transfer 21

22 Diagram 7: Distribution of cash and electronic payments during the week in % 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Proportion of the total number of all payments 11% 13% 8% 9% 9% 9% 4% 5% 6% 6% 7% 6% 6% 3% Mo Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Proportion of the total value of all payments 10% 9% 4% 4% 5% 4% 6% 9% 11% 13% 9% 11% 2% 4% Mo Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Electronic Cash money to each other. In time, these new instruments may evolve into a good alternative for person-to-person payments in cash. 3.4 The use of cash during the week As already shown by Jonker and Kosse (2009), the number and value of purchases made by Dutch consumers fluctuates during the week (see diagram 7). Some 19% of all weekly purchases are made on Saturdays, followed by Fridays (18%). On Sundays, when shops are closed in most places, consumers make relatively few payments: 9% of all weekly purchases are made on a Sunday. Not only does the number of payments differ from day to day, the manner of paying does, too. In terms of the number of transactions, consumers are on average twice as likely to pay for their purchases in cash as with other, electronic payment instruments. However, consumers use cash more often immediately before and during the weekend than they do from Monday through Thursday. One possible explanation for this is that they may be relatively more likely to visit bars, restaurants and leisure facilities just before or during the weekend. In these market segments, cash payments are more customary because of the combination of low transaction values and the relatively low acceptance of payment cards. 22

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