Arab Today, arab today little by little germans look beyond cash to shop
Last Updated : GMT 06:06:53
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Little by little, Germans look beyond cash to shop

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Little by little, Germans look beyond cash to shop

Tourists and business travellers visiting Germany
Berlin - AFP

Tourists and business travellers visiting Germany are often surprised when they reach to pay for their beer, metro tickets or even a large restaurant bill that their credit cards are not welcome.

Habits, however, are slowly changing in Europe's top economy, as younger consumers leapfrog from cash to convenient electronic forms of payment.

A deeply ingrained mistrust of credit has long kept cash king in Germany, where the average citizen carries 103 euros ($113) in their pocket.

"Cards have long been the most costly means of payment for merchants while cash transactions cost them almost nothing," Ulrich Binneboessel of the HDE retail sector federation told AFP, explaining the reluctance to accept credit cards.

More than half of the amount spent in Germany on private purchases, 53 percent, is paid in cash, according to a study by the Bundesbank central bank -- one of the highest rates for an advanced economy.

In terms of the number of transactions, the figure hovers at 79 percent despite the fact that nearly all Germans have debit cards, which are much more widely accepted by vendors.

A third of those polled said they only paid in cash, far more than in other Western countries, with the rate particularly high among pensioners.

One among them, who asked to be identified only as Reinhard, always carries money and knows exactly how much he has on him at any point in time.

"In a shop, I think it's a waste of time to pay any other way but with cash," he said.

Reinhard, who lives in the western state of Hesse, said he is afraid he will be charged too much and discover it only when he receives the bill in the mail, and is wary of hackers and identity thieves who prey on cardholders.

- Historical trauma -
Security and privacy are high priorities among Germans, who tend to be more conservative consumers with a strong aversion to debt. The vestigial trauma from 1920s-era hyperinflation which helped usher in the Nazi era still colours the national thinking.

"Consumers in Germany have little desire to experiment," said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a Bundesbank board member.

But "changes in how people pay are coming, step-by-step".

In a revolutionary move by German standards, discount retailers Lidl and Aldi started accepting Visa and MasterCard this month, after electronics chains Media Markt and Saturn took the same decision in late May.

And from the autumn, Media Markt and Saturn customers will be able to check themselves out at the till by scanning their cards or mobile phones.

"It is no longer relevant to talk today of Germany as a country of cash payers. Perhaps the Germans just need a little longer than others to be convinced of the benefits of the new payment systems," said Horst Rueter of research institute EHI in the western city of Cologne.

Buyers who came of age in the Internet era are rapidly embracing a world without cash, with 20 percent of German 14 to 29 year olds already paying using their smartphones, according to a survey by the high-tech industry federation Bitkom.

"With the technical possibilities now available, coins and notes are an anachronism," Peter Bofinger, one of five Wise Men experts advising the German government on economic policy, told Der Spiegel news magazine.

Beyond the benefits to consumers, he said, less cash would improve efficiency and make it easier to combat money laundering and other financial crimes.

- Kind of freedom -

However, reassurance about the safety of payment methods and a ceiling on costs are crucial because "the willingness of consumers to pay for payment services is extremely low," said Thiele.

The European Union this month passed a regulation capping fees on payments made with debit and credit cards, which should also spur their use.

"The trend towards less cash will continue, although this will be a continuous and slow process," Rueter said.

Cash will only cover less than half the payments in the "medium term", the Bundesbank said.

For its defenders, cash offers a kind of freedom. Three in four Germans said they would object to merchants refusing cash in the future, according to a survey by polling group YouGov.

"Each country has its own way of paying," Rueter said, based on "a mixture of cultural specificity, specific needs and common sense" which can evolve with time.

Germany, for example, stopped using cheques about 15 years ago, calling them obsolete.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today little by little germans look beyond cash to shop Arab Today, arab today little by little germans look beyond cash to shop

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Top Yemen commander killed

GMT 09:55 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Top Yemen commander killed
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 11:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

South Africa budget throws light on fractured ANC

GMT 11:35 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

British economy grows 0.7% in final quarter of 2016

GMT 06:04 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Hammond closes in on budget goal

GMT 05:34 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Euro zone economy outlook shines

GMT 04:10 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

US stocks finish at another all-time high
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st female Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st female Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday