• Banking and Finance in Historical Perspective
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41. Jahrgang | Jahr 2015 | Heft 1



Dieter Verbeck
Einführung, Nutzung und Verdrängung von Bargeld in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Eine historische Überblicksanalyse über deutsches Bargeld seit der DM-Währungsreform 1948 bis zur Nutzungseinschränkungs- und Abschaffungsdiskussion im Jahre 2016
This paper gives a chronological overview of the payment methods used in the Federal Republic of Germany from the currency reform of June 20, 1948, up to the recent decision to eliminate the 500-euro banknote and the implementation of a statutorily defined upper limit of 5,000 euros for cash payments. The goal of the presentation is to trace the historical development of the use of cash and to illustrate the reasons a displacement of cash has developed, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. It will also investigate the influences through which cash payments, previously taken for granted, have been gradually displaced by other payment media. As a result of increasing combined private household income with increasing options for saving, a very important customer group arose in the 1950’s and 1960’s, whose regular wage and salary deposits to giro accounts at banks significantly displaced the necessity of cash payments because demand deposits could be made by account or bank transfer. Starting at the end of the 1960’s, the Eurocheque, which acquired a significant role in the point-of-sale retail trade, led to a further displacement of cash. The paper-linked Eurocheque was displaced by card-based, non-cash payment forms and completely discontinued in 2001. With the increasing maturity of near field communication, new mobile or internet-based payment systems are currently establishing themselves, but which are not yet able to gain general acceptance because various systems are competing with one another. Impacts on use of cash are to be expected when one of the competing methods can gain acceptance with consumers over the mid- to long-term. The consequences of a possible limitation on the use of cash to be introduced cannot currently be forecast for Germany. In view of the affinity for cash that Germans have had for decades and a number of advantages that do not reside in the economic arena, but have rather a psychological, sociological or pedagogical background, an elimination of cash cannot be expected in the foreseeable future.

Täglich werden in Deutschland millionenfach Zahlungsvorgänge abgewickelt. Die Technik in der Abwicklung von Zahlungsvorgängen hat sich in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten jedoch erheblich gewandelt, wobei eine eindeutige Verschiebung vom Zahlungsmedium Bargeld hin zu Instrumenten des elektronisch abgewickelten unbaren Zahlungsverkehrs stattgefunden hat, die sich permanent fortentwickeln.[…]