The digital association Bitkom demands cashless payment for all purchases and sees a multitude of advantages in this. But do consumers want to do without coins and bills at all?

The digital association Bitkom requires cashless payment for all purchases.

NDoes the ticket machine only accept coins or the baker only cash? In the opinion of the digital association Bitkom, consumers should soon no longer have to deal with these everyday hurdles. For all purchases, customers would also have to be able to pay electronically, the association demanded on Friday. This offers “a multitude of advantages for everyone involved” – including fewer queues.

In a position paper, Bitkom demanded in a position paper that customers should be able to pay electronically or in cash in all shops and purchases. This creates “freedom of choice for consumers,” explained Managing Director Bernhard Rohleder. “At the same time, the freedom of those who prefer to pay with cash is not restricted.”

According to a survey by the industry association, this preference for leafing through bills or paying with coins is still pronounced among many consumers: more than half (55 percent) of those surveyed cannot currently imagine completely doing without cash. The vast majority of them (80 percent) cite the reason that they simply like to settle amounts with cash.

Three quarters (73 percent) say that a cash payment guarantees anonymity. Four out of ten cash advocates (40 percent) cite the reason that you can pay tradespeople or other service providers in this way without these payments being recorded. One in five (21 percent) cannot do without cash because many shops do not offer cashless methods.

Customers and dealers benefit

For the future, however, consumers expect a trend reversal. Only one in five (21 percent) assumes that cash will still be the dominant means of payment in this country in 20 years’ time. One in three (35 percent) believes that this will be over in ten years at the latest.

According to Bitkom, both customers and retailers as well as the state benefit from cashless payment: For example, contactless payment by smartphone or credit card is faster than handling change and is therefore an effective means of combating queues. In addition, electronic payment brings retailers more sales, for example through the use of simple and convenient customer loyalty programs.

At the same time, retailers could save costs by handling cash and, for example, connect their bookkeeping directly to the payment systems. Since it is becoming more difficult to evade taxation thanks to electronic payment, the shadow economy will also be restricted – and tax revenues will increase as a result.