Cash usage continues to fall, resilience of the cash cycle jeopardised

July 5, 2024

The Deutsche Bundesbank’s new study on payment behaviour in Germany once again shows a decline in cash usage in 2023. “We are very concerned about the strong trend of declining cash payments and, in turn, the further increase in non-cash means of payment,” says BDGW Chairman Michael Mewes. The association and the industry are continuing to campaign for the security of cash transactions and the entire cash infrastructure to ensure that a resilient cash cycle is maintained in Germany.

According to the study, user behaviour will continue the negative trend in cash payments in 2023. “Cash usage has fallen again by around 12% since the coronavirus pandemic and the fundamental trend towards cashless payment methods is continuing steadily,” says Mewes.

Although 73% of the consumers surveyed would like to be able to use cash ‘as they do today’ in 15 years’ time, only 43% expect this to be the case.

Even if access to cash still appears to be unproblematic overall at the moment and acceptance in retail, catering and other payment points is predominantly given, the study must be seen as an alarm signal.

“In order to fulfil the wish of the majority of respondents that cash should continue to be available as a means of payment in the future, it is necessary to ensure both the widespread availability and acceptance of cash and to maintain a functioning cash cycle that ensures this at all times and especially in times of crisis,” Mewes continued. This is the only way to guarantee the resilience that is vital for the entire economy and citizens.

The BDGW therefore supports the project mentioned in the study as well as the intensive work of the Bundesbank and other central banks of the Eurosystem to keep cash available as a cost-effective and efficient means of payment in the future.

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