SPIEGEL Netzwelt, by Markus Böhm: The German technology chain Gravis, which cooperates closely with Apple, will no longer accept cash payments from today, Monday. As the company confirmed when asked by SPIEGEL, this applies to all branches – 40 nationwide – and regardless of the purchase value. This means that even if you only want to buy an accessory from Gravis for a few euros, coins and bills from your wallet will not help you in the future.
The company says the proportion of cash payments has been “negligible” for around two years. Only a “small one-digit percentage” of customers still pay cash at Gravis today.
The chain also emphasizes that its decision was made after “a successful test phase in selected stores based on the above-average acceptance of cashless payments”. Cashless payment is “simple, secure, fast from the customer’s point of view – and has long since been learned”. With the step »actively follow the path of our customers«.
It’s also about costs
Behind this is not only an orientation towards customer behavior, but also business calculations. “For us as a retailer, cashless payment is cheaper, easier and it enables faster processes,” Gravis summarizes his own advantages. The company can keep its prices stable for longer for customers.
Gravis does not fear legal trouble: the legal situation provides “that legal tender can be excluded if information is provided about it”. This is done through information in the stores, “in the form of clearly visible displays in the checkout area” and via the General Terms and Conditions (GTC).
And what about customer displeasure? Gravis replies: Be prepared »that there may still be a need for explanation at the beginning«, but assume »that most of our customers can understand the advantages of cashless payment«.
An emotional topic
Cash is an emotionally charged topic, particularly in Germany, a country where cash is still used comparatively often. For a company like Gravis, an argument in favor of cash payment would be that it has not been a problem to buy technical devices and accessories anonymously with this means of payment.
And of course paying cash as one of several payment methods makes customers more flexible. Last spring, card payments were temporarily no longer possible at numerous retailers due to technical problems with a certain, widely used payment terminal.
So far, you could pay for every product at Gravis in cash, they say. With its 40 branches, the company is one of the best-known German technology dealers and is present in Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin, for example. According to its own statements, it is “Germany’s largest authorized Apple retail chain” and the “largest certified Apple service partner” in all of Europe. The company belongs to Freenet AG.
Update, 9.50 a.m. .: Gravis has just announced the changeover itself in a press release. It also says that the company’s new store concept, which was presented in the middle of last year, “is no longer provided for a checkout counter in the conventional sense”. Instead, there are “mobile terminals that adapt flexibly to the customer journey in the store and where customers can pay easily and without cash”. The classic cash drawer is dispensed with, as are printed receipts.
The company also emphasizes that for its employees, the elimination of cash means “less time and more security, for example with regard to counterfeit money and the daily transport of cash to the bank”.
Cashless transactions make it easy for governments to control and restrict buying and selling on individuals as well as large swaths of people.
“The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save he that hath the mark of the beast.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 152 // Christian Service, page 59.3.