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Germany sees card payments overtake cash

Germany, one of Europe’s last bastions of cash, has seen card payments eclipse traditional cash-based payments for the first time according to a new study.

Research from the Cologne-based EHI Retail Institute showed that in 2018, consumers’ card payments accounted for 48.6% of total retail sales, narrowly overtaking the 48.3% of cash payments.

According to EHI, the main cause of the result was a 4% increase in sales from Gerrmany’s debit card system to 30.1%. Another contributing factor is the growing trust in card payments among German consumers, especially the younger generation.

Yet despite the survey’s results, cash shows no sign of disappearing from Germany’s payments landscape, particularly for smaller sums. Retailers surveyed by EHI stated that they believed “cash will still dominate low-value payments in five years’ time”.

This finding reflects other surveys that are testament to German consumers’ affinity with cash, such a recent study by Germany’s Bundesbank which found that 88% of Germans want to continue using cash in the future.