Cash Dominates German Transactions

May 20, 2024


Germany’s preferred payment method is cash, says new research from EHI Retail Institute, being used for 58 percent of purchases and accounting for around 172 billion euros in spending.

The study—Payment Systems in Retail 2024—was conducted across over 400 companies representing 35 industries. While cash is dominant in terms of transaction numbers, it is second to cards in terms of value, accounting for 35.5 percent of sales value versus almost 62 percent paid for by card, totalling over 300 billion euros in spending.

Another insight from the study is that the cashback service offered at many stores, with which customers can withdraw cash from their accounts at the register, is extremely popular, rising to a new high of 12.31 billion euros in 2023. Around 13.3 percent of cash taken by participating shops (primarily grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores) is returned to customers in the form of cashback.

The study also shows a rise in transaction numbers indicating customers are increasing their purchases from physical shops, in line with a return to social interactions following the pandemic. 2021 saw a low of 16.6 billion purchases, rising to 17.9 billion in 2022 and reaching 19.55 billion in 2023. This is around the norm seen prior to the pandemic, which was typically around 20 billion transactions annually.

The full study is expected to be published at the end of June.

Last Updated: May 20, 2024