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bidt as a guest on Deutschlandfunk’s “Systemfragen” podcast

Germans still prefer to use cash as their primary means of payment more than any other country in Europe. Moreover, card payments are still not accepted in many places. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk's "Systemfragen" podcast, Dr Roland A. Stürz discusses possible reasons and solutions. Paying with cash is a small part of the fundamental problems in Germany when it comes to digitalisation.

bidt im Podcast Systemfragen des Deutschlandfunks
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The 29 February 2024 edition of Deutschlandfunk’s “Systemfragen” podcast looks at Germans’ love of cash. Digital money transactions are much less common in Germany than in other European countries. Germany is also only in the middle of the European field when it comes to other digitalisation issues. But why is that? Are Germans fundamentally more sceptical about digitalisation than other countries?

Dr Roland A. Stürz, Head of the Think Tank at bidt, uses selected results from the Digitalbarometer.international data survey to provide an approach to discussing these questions. It cannot be said across the board that Germany is critical of digitalisation. Although the use of cash and landline telephones is still much more common in Germany than in other countries, according to the study, the respondents’ attitudes towards digitalisation were positive in an international comparison. For example, respondents see digitalisation and AI as an opportunity rather than a risk, and significantly more often than in other countries. In addition, 6 out of 10 respondents believe that too little attention is paid to the topic of digitalisation.

Digitalisation is a task for society as a whole

In contrast to attitudes, however, Germany scores poorly in terms of digital skills. In the Digitalbarometer.international skills test, respondents in Germany scored an average of just 55 out of a possible 100 points, placing them in the bottom group. However, according to Dr Roland A. Stürz, these figures should be viewed in a differentiated manner. It is striking that the “digitally left behind” scored particularly poorly: The digital skills of older people, for example, are considerably worse in Germany than in other countries. This digital divide must be overcome to achieve a digital transformation.

An important step would be to include everyone and make digitalisation a task for society as a whole. This is only possible by creating contact points in all areas of everyday life for all population groups. The data shows that positive user experiences lead to a more positive attitude. Expanding the options for paying by debit or credit card is, therefore, a small but effective step towards advancing digitalisation in Germany.