Where cash is undesirable

While in Germany there is a risk of ruffle if someone pays a small amount with a card, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the opposite is true. The corona crisis is giving contactless payment in particular a further boost.

Confused tourists: The public transport in Tallinn, where instead of machines there are only NFC validators in the buses and trains

UInadvertently, hungry beachgoers in the Latvian coastal town of Vecāķi feel guilty. The waitress of the “Vegistop” snack truck digs deep into a small wallet to collect the change for the burger, which was paid for with a ten-euro note. “It is better for us if you pay by card,” she replies when asked whether everything is okay. Understanding within Europe was quickly restored – with the declaration that in Germany anyone who does not pay a small amount in cash is threatened with criticism.

The episode shows: The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are countries in which cashless payment is well advanced. A survey by the Latvian National Bank proves this. According to their “Payment Radar” from February, the average Latvian makes 64 percent of his transactions cashless. In contrast, according to the retail research institute EHI, Germans processed 73 percent of their retail payments in cash last year. Only with the corona pandemic is there a rethinking of cash-free payments in Germany. Germany is still a long way from the Baltic standard of being able to pay by card in every restaurant and bar.