Cash Reigns in Germany as Payment Methods Diversify

calendar iconSep 1, 2022


Cash remains the go-to payment option in Germany even as the range of choices has grown and online shopping has become more popular, says a new report from Bloomberg based on data from Deutsche Bundesbank.

Banknotes and coins were used for around 60 percent of payments in 2021, down from 74 percent four years previously. The Bundesbank believes it is presently too early to forecast whether or not this reduction is permanent, and whether cash will see a recovery as pandemic-related restrictions ease.

Neither digitalisation nor the pandemic have been able to oust cash. When it comes to making payments, cash is still by far the most popular means in Germany.
"Johannes Beermann, Bundesbank Executive Board Member

The Deutsche Bundesbank press release notes ‘many respondents regard [cash] as a reliable means of payment that protects their privacy and gives them a good overview of their spending.’ Individuals typically carry €100 ($100) in their wallets, which remains around the same amount as four years ago. The vast majority of people (69 percent) said they will continue to pay with cash just as often in future as they do now.

Debit cards remain the second most-used payment method, with credit cards, bank transfers and online payments broadly equal in popularity. Four percent of respondents to a Bundesbank survey conducted in late 2021 said they had bought crypto assets, or used them to make payments. The vast majority of these said they had purchased the digital assets solely as an investment, without an intent to use them as currency.

Mobile payments have also gained popularity, with 17 percent of smartphone owners saying they had used their device to make an in-store payment. Overall, however, they remain some of the least-used payment methods.

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2022