Wir alle lieben Bargeld, für jetzt.

No other nation in Europe likes paying with Bargeld as much as Germans do. 

According to a report by Barkow consulting, only around 5% of transactions in Germany are made by credit card. On average, each German keeps €2200 cash at home.

Typically, Germans carried €103 in their wallets in 2016, compared to €65 for the average eurozone wallet.

The migration to digital or card bases payment methods is progressing slowly in Germany. Between 2010 – 2016 cashless payments only increased by 7% per capita (BCG survey). Only Italy and Spain lagged behind Germany in this statistic.

A chicken and egg situation seems to exist in Germany regarding e-payment terminals. There is a lack of confidence (or scepticism) regarding the security of payment terminals which drives down the demand and ultimately decreases the terminals available. But by keeping the numbers low and not changing attitudes, the scepticism remains. A study by the Institute of Economic Research shows that for every cash machine in Germany, there are 13 terminals for cashless payments. In Sweden this figure is 91.

 In Sweden, only one out of every five store purchases was paid for with cash in 2015. And some restaurants in the city no longer accept cash at all. This stands in stark contrast to Berlin, for instance, where many cafés and bars have signs at their entrances that warn: “Cash only.”

Another potential market competitor could trigger a decline in Germany’s use of cash. Rumours are flowing that Apple is planning to introduce it’s own payment system into the German market which would managed entirely by user’s smartphones.

The confidence offered by the Apple brand, plus it’s piggybacking onto an existing infrastructure and technology, could well be the catalyst to migrate consumers and retailers from a pro-cash platform, to a more even spread of multiple payment methods. Cash is great, but people always want easy, convenient and secure.