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With cash in hand, German talents have a sense of security

   If anyone suddenly switches from the domestic non-cash payment environment to the German payment environment, there will be a particularly uncomfortable transition period. In China, you basically don’t need to bring a wallet when you go out, you just need to bring your own smart phone. You can scan the QR code everywhere, or use the payment software to transfer money to the payee. The situation in Germany is different.

  Before the outbreak, the non-cash payment rate in Germany was very low. The concept of non-cash payment by most Germans even stays at the stage of credit card payment. Using payment software to make payments is something everyone can avoid. Both customers and merchants prefer to use cash.

  Once, a friend from China asked me to have coffee, and we met at an independent cafe near her hotel. When I ordered the coffee to check out, the clerk said that only cash can be used to check out, and the door said cash only (cash only). But her friend habitually only brought her mobile phone out of the hotel, which made her very embarrassed. Fortunately, I also brought some cash with me, otherwise I wouldn't even be able to swipe my card.

  If you want to buy grilled sausage or turkey meat at a street food stall, be sure to prepare cash. When going out with German friends, most people will choose to pay in cash. Sometimes a group of people want to split the bill, and they will spread a pile of Euro banknotes and coins on the table to count. Sometimes this is also very interesting.

  I remember one time in Frankfurt, I received a scan code to pay coupons, so excitedly ran to the event partner-a large German household goods chain store. At the checkout, I showed the promotion introduction page on my mobile phone, and wanted to scan the QR code to pay for the discount. The clerk searched under the cashier for a long time before finding out the payment code, and told me that no one would use this. In such a cash-based payment environment, bank ATMs are particularly important. So no matter where I went, the first thing I looked for was a nearby bank teller machine.

  After the outbreak, the Germans who are obsessed with using cash seem to have changed. Because it is said that cash is likely to be the carrier of the spread of the new crown virus. According to a survey conducted by payment service provider Glory, about 49% of Germans preferred to use cash for payment before the epidemic, and this number dropped to 29% after the epidemic. One of the reasons is that some Germans are worried that they will be infected with the new crown virus by frequently using cash.

  Another reason is that many businesses have begun to advocate non-cash payments that are conducive to epidemic prevention. However, this seems to be a change that the Germans were forced to accept. 41% of Germans said they would still use cash to pay after the epidemic. According to a report from a market research company, 31% of Germans still insisted on using cash during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Nordic countries where non-cash payments are developed, such as Sweden, this figure is 8%.

  In fact, the situation in German-speaking Switzerland or Austria is similar to that in Germany. When I was visiting school in Zurich, the landlord asked me to pay the rent in cash. Because the non-Swiss bank card has a cash amount for daily withdrawals, I can only go to the bank to withdraw money every day. After more than a week, I took a few thousand Swiss francs in cash to pay the rent for two months.

  Some people say that Germany is the last land of cash in Europe. Why do Germans like to use cash so much? First of all, money in people's collective memory should be as accessible as the Taylor silver coin (old German silver coin) 500 years ago.

  For Germans, "only cash is real". If cash is to be abolished, it is tantamount to obliterating tradition and culture. In addition, they feel that using cash will not leave traces of transactions, will not incur handling fees, and feel more secure. They are very worried about data protection, believing that modern payment methods will allow their privacy to be stolen. Another reason is that Germany is aging so severely that many elderly people cannot accept new payment methods.


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