Average German ‘hoards €1,364 in cash’

Average German 'hoards €1,364 in cash'
Photo: DPA
Germany may be getting more digital, with a growing number of establishments accepting cards. But the country still is crazy for cash, a survey published Monday from the Bundesbank shows.

The average German carries a total of €107 in their wallet, and has a total of €1,364 in bank safe deposit boxes.

The amount of hoarded cash varies widely among the population, with some people carrying barely any extra cash, and others quite a bit.

Self-employed, older people and high-earners were the most likely to keep a lot of cash tucked away. 

READ ALSO: Will the coronavirus pandemic speed up the end of cash in Germany?

Bundesbank board member Johannes Beermann said that younger people tend to store less cash simply because they have less of it.

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So why exactly do Germans store cash rather than, say, keeping it in a bank account?

From the point of view of 58 percent of those surveyed, the low interest rates are a reason to store notes and coins on a larger scale.

Cash is also a common means of payment, 55 percent said. In third place among the reasons is a lack of confidence in the security and resilience of the technical infrastructure, for example, fear of hacker attacks. 

Other possible motives cited by respondents who hoard cash were “no fees” and “anonymity”.

In addition, 12 percent of those surveyed name “hiding assets from the state” as a possible reason.

The Bundesbank defines hoarding as the storage of cash for a period of two weeks or more.

Whether people's behaviour has changed during the coronavirus crisis is not clear from the representative survey of 2000 people from 2018. There was no follow-up survey.

Cash is seen by many as a safe haven in turbulent times. Especially at the beginning of the crisis in Germany in March, according to other data from the Central Bank, the demand for notes and coins had risen significantly. 

Accordingly, there were also slight increases in the net issuance of cash in the following months. 

However, many businesses also began accepting card payments for the first time, as people worried about the hygiene of bank notes and coins.

READ ALSO: Cash loving Germany switches to contactless payments due to coronavirus fears

Key vocabulary

Wallet – Geldbeutel

Bank safe deposit boxes – (die) Bankschließfächern

Hoarding – (die) Hortung

safe haven – sicherer Hafen

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

 

 

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  1. I just love the ‘key vocabulary’ stuff at the end of articles . . .well done to The Local. But just one query re the above list. I’ve never heard the word ‘Geldbeutel’ used for wallet. Rather everyone seems to use ‘Portmonnaie’ but maybe it’s because where I live in Baden-Württemberg the French Alsace is only 15km away!

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