As much as cash remains an essential part of daily life in countries
such as Germany and Switzerland, the exact opposite may be true not
far from those borders.
And, at least according to the BBC, it may be on the verge of
extinction in some places.
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The news service reported in a story by Lauren Comiteau on Sept. 29 that cash
is no longer recognized as legal tender in some stores in Netherlands,
where many outlets are deciding to only accept pin or debit cards.
Some retailers, Comiteau says, “describe going cash-free as “cleaner”
She decided to find out for herself, and could not use cash for
rent, telephone bills, a tuna sandwich, or even parking. The longest
line at the supermarket was for cash transactions.
Saying that noncash payments are faster, safer, and more convenient,
Dutch banks and merchants are striving for 60 percent of all payments
to be electronic by 2018. Across the border in Germany, payments are
still 75 percent in cash.
Netherlands has come a long way in not so many years. When I first
went there in 1984, I was looked at quizzically in nontourist
restaurants when I tried to use a credit card to pay for a meal. Dutch
people either used cash or wrote a check on their account at the
postal bank. When I asked, they said they could not imagine paying any