It is an open secret that the Germans love their cash. “To be liquid”, as the saying goes so nicely. Giving tips, at the fun fair, at the parking ticket machine, at the bakery and at the booth.
The demand for the abolition of the money that is circulating around Germany with our European neighbors is out of the question for the majority of Germans (67%).
At least the smallest coins?
A possible abolition of the 1 and 2 cent coins has nevertheless been discussed for years. This demand is met with somewhat more open ears. Because for many respondents the red and sometimes dingy 1 and 2 cent coins, of which there are more than 60 billion in the euro area, are rather unnecessary ballast in the already bulging, credit card-filled wallet.
The debate on the abolition of the smallest coins was pushed by the EU Commission in 2013, long before the new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took up the topic again. Not least because of the increased stamping and delivery costs. Because in some EU countries they are higher than their nominal value. In addition, many citizens hoard their 1 and 2 cent coins at home, which made it necessary to re-stamp 900 million coins in Germany in 2018 alone. A return of the stocks to the cash cycle is limited to 50 individual coins per payment in the euro area.
Other countries round up or down
The 5 cent coin is already the smallest payment unit in Belgium, Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands. In everyday shopping, it is now the normal thing in the world to round it up or down to 5 cents.
But what makes German cash lovers so suspicious and even stubborn about adopting the well-thought-out payment method of their European neighbors?
It is certainly not the lack of infrastructure that makes nationwide and cashless payment in Germany impossible. Rather, it is the skepticism about technology that a large part of the German population has when it comes to cashless payment.
Even if it is so annoying to “get out” the 1 and 2 cent coins at the till. Not only older people agree, but also the 18 to 29-year-olds of the respondents, that cash makes you freer and that paying cash is still a ritual with the character of success and generosity.
Lovers of special issues also have a say
The hunters and gatherers also influence the debate, albeit passively. On the one hand, many people take pleasure in tracking down rare coins that change hands for 4-digit amounts.
On the other hand, the precious metals industry earns enormous amounts of special coins from coins with special motifs. What Kilian West from Berlin-based precious metal dealer valvero GmbH can only confirm: “Our mintings continue to delight numerous collectors and coin fans around the world. In addition, some coins made of gold, platinum or silver represent a good form of investment. ”
Whoever invests in coins does so for different reasons. Some are looking for steadfastness, others a nice memory. The resale value of well-known investment coins is in any case value-preserving, according to West. So it is no wonder why the small and large coins will roll over the counters in Germany for a long time.
Born 1981 in Strasbourg, is a freelance journalist for various online media throughout Europe, focusing on finance, real estate and politics. He gathered his professional expertise as a consultant for global players and medium-sized companies. Fournier studied economics and german in Paris and Dresden. He currently lives in Saarland and has been a member of the Euro Leaders team since the beginning of 2019.