Ever hold on to more cash

500s gone, digital currency on the rise. Do we have to say goodbye to cash soon? There is a lot of discussion, we have asked. What do Germans say about bills and coins? The answer is clear.

Germans still like cash - despite Corona. But love seems to crumble in pandemic times. According to a representative ING survey of consumers in 13 European countries, in 2020 the preference for notes and coins in the wallet decreased to a degree that would otherwise have taken a generation. The proportion of respondents who usually pay for certain types of expenditure in cash dropped by 7 to 14 percentage points across Europe, and by as much as 8 to 19 percentage points in Germany.

But even if more and more citizens are switching to cards etc., the proportion of those surveyed who pay for expenses such as lunch or tickets for local transport in cash is significantly higher than that of most of our neighbors. Also, only a third of Germans stated that they were no longer so willing to grab cash because of Covid-19 - it was at least 48% across Europe.

In this country you rub your eyes: In Sweden some parking meters no longer want coins and in churches only donations are made by vending machine. Most payments in retail are processed by card - cash is hardly used any more.

In Sweden there is no longer any discussion, but history is being written: The Scandinavian country has been testing the Swedish central bank's digital e-krona since February 2020. The pilot program is scheduled to run for one year. Should the digital e-crown actually be introduced to the general public, it should be valid alongside coins and bills.

A digital version of the euro - their work on this is also driving Europe's monetary authorities forward. In all likelihood, after mid-2021, the European Central Bank (ECB) will decide whether or not there will be a digital euro project. Others are more advanced in terms of digital currency - besides Sweden, it is China. Beijing has been testing the state digital currency Chinese Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) since March 2020. The US group Facebook wants to introduce its currency Libra at the end of the year.

While we are still considering whether or not others are role models, the cashless world has long been knocking on our door: salary is directly on the account, rent and electricity are paid by standing order. The tax office has not wanted any more bills for a long time and online purchases are almost all cashless anyway.

We are all becoming more digital. Proponents of a world completely without cash believe that we will soon no longer need coins and bills anyway. They promise lower costs and advantages in fighting crime. Whether the world will actually become more honest without cash is controversial.

For cash fans, the colorful notes are printed freedom to take home with you: touch, spend, give away, stack. Everything works, nobody looks us in the shopping bag or under the pillow.

Some people ask themselves: If there is no more cash, will we all become transparent consumers? What does the grandmother give your favorite grandson and how do we teach children how to handle money? Will swapping then also be attractive apart from collectible pictures?

Despite upper cash limits in many European countries and although we no longer print the 500 series - there are no concrete plans to abolish cash in the euro area.

A world without coins and bills may come a long way off at some point. If the Germans are happy to pay in cash, at least in part, in the future, it will take a long time.

Are you for or against an abolition of cash? Many experts have spoken about it - now your opinion counts! Take the opportunity and write a comment. We and all other readers are excited to see what you have to say.