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Nov 29, 2017
Cash is the lifeblood of German retail

2017 Value of Cash survey finds:

  • Majority of key shopping destinations in Germany rely on steady supply of cash
  • Cash is seen as easier, faster and safer to use than other popular payment methods
  • Depending on the shopping environment, the average cash spend of customers can be up to 30 percent higher after a cash withdrawal at a nearby ATM
  • Thirty-seven percent of Germans would consider switching their bank if their local bank branch closed and its ATM was removed

Trier, 29 November 2017 – New research finds that many German shopping destinations rely on cash as the lifeblood of their local businesses. Sixty-two percent of German consumers say that they paid in cash for their last purchases on a trip to a city-center shopping district, while 58 percent used cash for their last trip to a supermarket. Additionally, almost all Germans paid using cash during their last visit to a local corner shop or a bakery (93 percent).

The findings are based on a representative online survey of 2,000 German adults and they show that a local cash supply through ATMs is directly related to the success of retailers in towns and communities. Weekly markets, the backbone of many small and medium sized towns, benefit in particular from a nearby source of cash: 44 percent of survey respondents said that they paid with cash taken directly from a nearby ATM during their last trip to the local market. In smaller shops such as newsagents and bakeries, 41 percent of people withdrew cash and spent it immediately in-store. What is more, the survey also found that ATMs encourage higher cash sales at many retailers. This is best illustrated in city-center shopping districts, where the average cash spend of shoppers after an ATM visit was 30 percent (or €7.90) higher than that of customers who had withdrawn their cash on a previous occasion.

The online survey was commissioned by Germany’s largest independent ATM provider, Cardtronics Deutschland, and was carried out by independent market research institute YouGov. It is part of a new study "The Value of Cash for Retailers and Financial Institutions", which also reveals that Germans see many significant advantages in using cash over other payment methods: 46 percent say that it is easiest to use, while 43 percent consider it to be faster than any other common form of payment. Moreover, 52 percent of Germans consider it to be the safest payment method, while 58 percent state that cash is the best way to ensure the protection of personal data.

Against the backdrop of a changing banking landscape in Germany, the study recommends preserving ATM services where bank branches are closing. Asked which alternatives they would consider if the ATM they usually use was to disappear, more than a quarter (27 percent) of people responded that that they would consider going to a different shopping location to be able to get cash out and do their shopping at the same time.

However, preserving the local cash supply is not only of relevance to local retailers, but to financial institutions too. More than 1 in 3 (37 percent) Germans said that they would consider switching to a different bank if their local branch closed and its ATM was removed. Indeed, they would switch to a bank with a closer cash machine. Considering the same scenario of losing their local ATM, only 37 percent committed to using their own bank’s ATMs and continuing shopping as before. This underlines the benefits for both banks and local communities if a solution is found to continue local ATM services.

Marc Terry, Managing Director EMEA for Cardtronics, commented on the survey results:

"The study shows how a local cash supply fosters the vitality of local communities and their retailers. This is rooted in the strong German preference for cash, where people value it because of the speed and security it offers. This makes ATMs not only important for retailers, but clearly an integral part of the services that are provided by local banks to their customers."

The entire study can be downloaded in German at:

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

For more information:

For further information, please contact Moritz Povel at or +44 (0) 20 7249 7769.

About the survey:

The findings are based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, which interviewed 2,093 people between 3 and 5 July 2017. All results have been weighted and are representative of the German adult population (18+).

About Cardtronics Deutschland

With more than 1,000 ATMs, Cardtronics Deutschland is the largest independent cash machine provider in Germany. Best known as “Cardpoint” to German consumers, Cardtronics places ATMs in a variety of retailer locations including convenience stores and petrol forecourts. It is also a trusted partner of financial institutions in improving the cost efficiency of ATM estates. Cardtronics Deutschland is owned by parent company, Cardtronics plc, the world's largest ATM owner / operator and provider of services to approximately 238,000 ATMs in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, Cardtronics plc maintains partnerships with over 2,300 financial institutions.

Cardtronics is a registered trademark of Cardtronics plc and its subsidiaries

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.