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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-...




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