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Cardtronics Blog

Germans and Their Liebe zum Geld*

02/15/2018 - Tom Pierce

(*love of cash)

There’s no debating the popularity of cash among consumers in Germany, one of Europe’s largest and most influential economies. While that may seem contrary to the notion of advanced economies leading the way to a cashless society, the truth is cash use in Germany remains considerably higher than in other developed countries. Cash isn’t just the obvious choice for the majority of German consumers. In many cases, it’s the only choice they will consider.

Why do Germans have a particularly strong affinity for cash?

With more than 1,000 ATMs, Cardtronics is the largest independent cash machine provider in Germany. Given this important role in Germany’s banking and payments infrastructure, Cardtronics Germany partnered with YouGov, an independent market research institute, to take a closer look at:

How Germans choose and use cash
The influence of cash use and local ATMs on the local economy
What banks need to know about ATMs and customer loyalty  


Key Finding – For Consumers
Cash is by far Germans’ favorite method of payment for in-store purchases, and in many types of retail outlets – that is a clear finding of the Cardtronics Germany/YouGov nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults in Germany. When asked which method of payment they used for their last purchase at a wide range of shopping locations, the responses of German consumers indicates an affinity for paying in cash, and by an overwhelming majority at certain markets and shops.

german cash study_1

When comparing a wide variety of payment methods, 65 percent of survey respondents said that cash from an ATM is ideal for smaller purchases, and for everyday purchases 49 percent felt cash is best. Additionally, 52 percent of Germans selected cash as the safest payment method, while 55 percent picked cash as ideal for budgeting. 

german cash study2

Key Finding – For Retailers
Depending on the shopping environment, the average cash spend of customers can be up to 30 percent higher after a cash withdrawal at a nearby ATM.

Key Finding – For Financial Institutions
Thirty-seven percent of Germans would consider switching their bank if their local bank branch closed and its ATM was removed.

Learn more about Germany’s strong affinity for cash by downloading The Value of Cash for Retailers and Financial Institutions” report, featuring additional data and key findings from the Cardtronics Germany/YouGov survey.

Tom Pierce

Chief Marketing Officer