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 11 Every German has € 103 cash in his wallet. © paysafecard

The most preferred method of payment is cash – also on the internet

A survey conducted by the German Central Bank revealed that 96% of all transactions lower than €5 are paid in cash. The higher the amount becomes, the share of cash payments decreases to 24% for transaction of €500 or more. paysafecard as „cash for the internet“ fits in with these results with its average transaction volume of around €24. 

The survey conducted by the German Central Bank revealed further surprising facts: Every German has €103 cash in their wallets, €5.73 of which in coins. And the share of cash payments in the overall number of transactions remained from 83% in 2008 to 79% in 2014 surprisingly constant. The „end of cash“ is therefore nowhere in sight although in view of historically low interest rates and current debates surrounding monetary policy, some academics have even advocated for the abolition of cash. Nevertheless, coins and notes have remained very popular.

This is confirmed by another study, in which internationally comparable data from payments diaries kept between 2009 (Canada) and 2012 (United States) were analyzed. More than 18,500 consumers in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States kept a written record of their payments over a period of between one day and one week, also taking note of what payment methods they used. The dataset comprises a total of 103,000 payments. 

The results of the analysis show that customers still frequently opt for cash at the point of sale in all countries studied. In terms of volume, cash accounts for more than 50% of payment transactions in all of these countries, with the exception of the United States. In most of the countries, consumers mainly use cash for smaller transaction amounts of less than 10 euro or 10 dollars. In Germany, however, almost 40% of larger purchases with values equivalent to more than 40 US dollars are made in cash. By way of comparison, this figure is less than 20% in the United States.

Thus, clear differences exist between Germany and most of the other countries in terms of how intensively cash is used by consumers. The study looks into these differences and describes possible factors which may help to explain them. You can find it online here: www.bundesbank.de