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It’s also a fake one. As the other commenter said, the credit card system came about bec cash was very expensive to use for stores. They were passing along those costs to consumers, the fact that that’s now inverted by some stores (cash discounts) is only doable bec of the prevalence of credit cards.

Stores need to accept cash regardless, so there’s still some minimal added costs to using cash, but even with the offered discount it’s less than the credit cards...

however if stores stopped accepting credit cards they would quickly find themselves drowning in the same costs that credit cards were invented to avoid.






Germany is still way more cash-based and you see less consolidation of businesses into large chains than in the US.

I'm not sure I buy "drowning in the same costs". I think there's something more akin to a prisoner's dilemma here.


Germany is cash-based because of consumer behavior, not because costs are somehow lower. With corona, e-Commerce and services like SumUp more widespread Germany will inevitably catch up with other countries.

@Symbiote:

Not sure were you were. I am from northern Germany, around Hamburg.

But every single store that does accept cards (not every little store can bear the fees, though) has theses signs.

So I would counter your n=1 anecdotal argument with an equally non representative n=1 argument. No one learns anything, except that some shops in Germany ask for the use of cash-alternatives, others don't.


In Denmark, the majority of shops have little signs "Due to Covid-19, please pay by card or phone" or sometime "Due to Covid-19, cash is not accepted".

On a recent trip to Germany, I didn't see a single such sign.

Germany is changing gradually, perhaps due to the EU's limits on the fees Visa and MasterCard can change, but Covid-19 doesn't seem to have much effect.


I live in Berlin and recommendations to pay by card can be seen in many places with preference for contactless payment. In fact, share of non-cash payments visibly increased here and surveys show that German attitude is already changing.

Maybe this is temporarily? I pay with card now. But intend to go back to cash after covid19.

Germany has seen a huge shift over the past months. Before that, paying by card for small ticket items such as in bakerys was frowned upon (or just not possible), now it's used by the majority in some areas.

In Norway, it is still illegal for stores to refuse cash. I know of only one store that does get away with it; I believe they do because they are primarily an online shop. Their physical store is merely a convenience for customers who happen to live nearby. Many (most?) stores still ask customers to pay with a card, though. To help out, the banks have raised the maximum amount payable by contactless cards without PIN entry.

It is technically illegal to not accept cash in Denmark with very few exceptions (I checked, since it seems to be legal in Sweden), but maybe due to COVID-19 this got relaxed or is just not enforced anymore. Not that anyone would notice, nobody pays with cash anyway except for German tourists who aren't coming this year.

I feel like this is probably a good thing. Cash payments are a very healthy thing to have in addition to digital payments.

I live in Germany at the moment and I do see this in many places. On the other hand there are also still shops where showing my card gets me a puzzling look as if I'm some kind of time traveller visiting from the future armed with my mysterious shiny plastic card.

In Stockholm, Sweden, many stores have stopped accepting cash altogether. Even before Covid.

In Gothenberg, Sweden, for instance, you can't buy public transport tickets with cash. Which meant that when a beggar approached me and asked for some cash so he could travel home, I knew he was lying. I hadn't even bothered getting any Swedish cash when I visited the country.

Depends where you are I guess. I have seen them everywhere in Germany.

Well, I thought so too in the start.

But I asked someone in a popular local store ( Belgium) and consumer behaviour hasn't changed.


How is this relevant to Germany?

Because Belgium and Germany is very similar on cash payments.

Also, you mention Covid would be a stimulator for digital payments and that doesn't seem the case in Belgium. So I wouldn't know why it would be the case for Germany.


The change in Ireland has been significant, it's made contactless be the default way to pay. I think it has removed the idea that something like a cup of coffee was too small to pay for via card/contactless. I don't think I have actually used cash in a number of months.

Before COVID one of the main banks AIB was to introduce some extra charges but they stopped that charge increase https://www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/aib-...


In the US you are a criminal if your business is dealing with large amount of cash everyday. That’s how credit card got the market share. Companies make the law so you will use their system. They dont profit if you use cash whywould they allow you to do that.

What are you referring to here? There are plenty of cash only businesses in my city and the owners aren't being thrown in jail for it.

I’m sure it varies but the US has a bunch of annoying regulations meant to curb money laundering. For instance, if you deposit $10,000 or more at the bank, you are required to fill out annoying paperwork to prove you aren’t laundering money. If you don’t want to fill out annoying paperwork so you only deposit $9,000 at a time, that is literally a federal felony.

Maybe your city has a “safety of crowds” thing going on but when cash only businesses start going scarce, I bet the remaining holdouts start getting more and more scrutiny.


KYC (Know Your Customer) laws are not exactly unique to the US.

The money industry tends to be heavily regulated, and self-regulated (PCI DSS) for a reason. Crime happens there because that's literally where the money is.

I'm doing my part, though. I pay with cash whenever I can. In Germany that's easy (often the only option e.g. in restaurants). In Sweden, not so much. And then there are countries in between.


Yeah, I don’t know how other countries differ from the US in this respect. Maybe the “war on drugs” made us paranoid about money laundering to the point where it eventually ground down the cash economy. Or maybe it really is our addiction to consumer debt.

Yup, there are some that even accept checks.

It's more like folks don't want to get robbed by keeping everything in cash, and so they use banks.

That’s another factor for sure. I’m not sure if the timing lines up—I remember credit cards being more and more broadly accepted over time compared to cash even after crime rates in the US dropped—but the US still has pretty high crime rates for a developed country.

Quite a few places in London are cashless now, typically non-essential stuff like lunch, where transaction time is important, contactless is much faster. Cash costs are not insignificant, processing time, insurance, it's not really worth it when so few people pay with cash.

It's been accelerated sharply by the pandemic. The few holdouts changed tack. There's accessibility concerns for the unbanked.




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