German buyers prefer to pay cash
Cash is very important to consumers in Germany, according to a representative survey by the market research institute forsa. This survey was conducted on behalf of the market watchdog team of the Consumer Advice Centre in Sachsen.
Of the current account holders surveyed, around 38% withdraw cash from a cash machine at least once a week. Another 27% use a cash machine every two weeks, and 23% go at least once a month to withdraw cash from the cash machine. The average amount withdrawn is 248 euros per month. The amount varies according to the age of the respondents. For the 18-29-year-olds, it is well below 127 euros, and much higher for the over-70s at 339 euros.
Withdrawal fees are problematic
“We consider it problematic that withdrawal fees are charged when consumers withdraw money from cash machines belonging to their own bank,” said Schultz. Some banks have recently begun to demand such withdrawal fees from their customers. The Federal Association of Consumer Advocates considers this charge invalid and has now filed a lawsuit.
Cash withdrawals at petrol stations or supermarket checkouts are still limited: 78% of respondents have never withdrawn cash at a petrol station or checkout. A further 10% said they withdraw cash every three months or less at a supermarket or petrol station.
Cashless payment is widespread, but not with smartphones
Of the current account holders surveyed, almost two-thirds regularly use the option of cashless payment. Indeed, 16% use their debit or credit card at least once a day to pay in a shop. About 33% use card payment several times a week. Another 15% use their card once a week.
“Despite the widespread use of cashless payment systems, there is almost no take-up of the relatively new option of paying via smartphone,” says Kerstin Schultz, Team Leader of the Finance Market Watchdog at the Consumer Advice Centre in Sachsen. At 97% of all respondents, the overwhelming majority never use this option. Only 3% of the current account holders use the payment functions on their smartphone, such as near-field communication or an app that generates a payment code.
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