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There is a lot of argument about the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to pay. The pandemic in particular brought about a rethink. But do cashless processes really have the expected advantages? The discussion about paying in retail has been raging for years: since 2020, retailers have had to print a receipt for every purchase, no matter how small, the proponents argue that this is the only way to stop black market trading, the opponents argue that it is all about that anyway let the state know what its citizens are buying. The fronts are similarly hardened when it comes to the question of the right payment method: for some, smartphone-based contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are the best invention ever, others see everything that is not regulated by cash as an attack on the personal freedom of the Individual.

After all, the corona crisis has contributed to the fact that Germans pay cashless – and above all contactless – with the classic Girocard (known as EC card) much more frequently than before. Apple Pay and Google Pay are more popular with tech-savvy target groups, as they make the credit or debit cards of the two major systems Visa and Mastercard a success in Germany. Nevertheless, their growth rates remain moderate.

A current study by the EHI Retail Institute has identified a lower proportion of transactions for cash purchases for 2020. This should decrease by 5 percentage points, the share of sales even decrease by 5.3 percentage points. According to projections from November, the share of the Girocard should have increased from 33.6 to 40.2 percent. 2020 was undoubtedly the fastest growing year for cashless payments in Germany since the start of regular surveys by the EHI in 1994.

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