Just ask any tourist who has traveled to Germany – Europe’s largest economy has an ax to grind against shoppers who use credit and debit cards. Whether you’re at the bar, in a restaurant or picking up groceries, good-old cash remains the preferred method of payment.
But even in Germany, the times are changing, albeit slowly. Years after smartphone apps such as Venmo enabled peer-to-peer petty cash transfers in the United States, Germany is on the verge of joining the cashless revolution.
Anti-trust authorities, known as the Federal Cartel Office, on Wednesday gave the green light to Paydirekt’s plans for a smartphone cash transfer function. Paydirekt, launched by Germany’s private and cooperative banks in 2015, is an online payment platform similar to Paypal.