Appeal for cash in germany
In this article, I would like to say a few words about what money is and how important cash is to society, with a focus on Germany. Money originated several millennia ago as so-called "realia" – that is, natural products such as grain, rice, or important items were used as a medium of exchange for other items. Basically, the physical twin in the sum of the objects of exchange – and in history everything came under the cloak of exchangeability.
It is also sacral-cultic in that it drew its form and system from the temples, where originally "money" was created by precious metals to "finance" the offerings. It is fascinating to understand that the two strokes depicted on the euro, the pound, or the dollar represent the two horns of the supreme sacrificial animal of those days, the bull (the yuan, etc. is a copy of this tradition).
When we consider the words "creditor" or "debt" we begin to enter the religious sphere of things. Then money left the temples and the first money houses emerged outside the temples, with the priests controlling the money market in the modern world. Eventually, money evolved through the transition from "debt bills" to the paper money we know today. The first logistics of monetary transactions began with the goldsmiths, who transported the gold they kept for their "customers" back and forth before offering, in principle, storage in vaults.
There's a lot of talk about the role of cash in a society like Germany's, and it's fascinating to think about and understand the philosophy and practical aspects of it. In essence, money serves three purposes: it is a trusted medium of exchange, a means of storing value, and a "measure of value". It also allows us, as a whole, to understand the value of a thing, reflecting a causal understanding of the world.
Cash and book money
If we look at cash, which is a form of money – let's call it the physical expression of money as opposed to the digital expression of money, like book money – it's something very fundamental, just as our body is a fundamental expression of our mind. Cash, for example, is a physical representation of goods, and it is important because it is fundamental in several ways:
- It is universal and can be used by anyone and at any age.
- It is immediate – the transaction with the money is carried out now and explicitly.
- it's safe – if you store it, it's only in one place. It cannot be hacked from anywhere.
- It is anonymous, d. h., if I make a transaction with you, it can stay between us. There are no digital traces, no profiling, and no security risk.
- So it is basically an expression of our human existence as well as our expression of freedom. Money is physical because we (still) live in a physical world.
If we look at the overall payment transactions in Germany, we can see that the share of cash is declining (although the nominal volume of cash is of course still increasing). While it was over 50 percent before the pandemic, it is now dropping to 40 percent and below.
This is no surprise, because we live in the early days of the virtual and digital world. However, this reflects a fundamental need to balance the physical and virtual worlds, to unite them, so to speak. If cash were to disappear, the above commandments would have to be solved in a different way.
The essence of cash is its "security" and the ability to physically place it in one place. It is the last resort when all else virtual or fault fails. Cash is immediate and unique to a particular situation. Most financial crises in recent years (and there have been hundreds in the last century) have to do with the simple question: "Where is the money?"?"Complex balances and leveraging have a lot of potential but understandably this can also cause significant harm.
Cash for stability and security
Cash is important for stability, security, and the aforementioned expression of human existence. That's why we need commercially viable cash logistics and cash handling services – for our own (economic) performance and for the benefit of the market.
Covid had a significant impact on our business and also on cash as a whole in two ways. First, there was a significant decline in business volume due to store closures, and in addition, there was a completely unfounded fear that cash itself could be a carrier of the virus, which has been scientifically disproven. Second, in the last two years, there has been a large turnover of businesses coming back and then leaving again.
It's been a very tough time for the industry – as it has been for many industries. However, as can be seen, cash is resilient and it is our job to ensure that it doesn't go it alone and sort itself out, but that we develop new ways for the future to always be able to provide for cash.
We know that we need to make sure that we are digitally connected to our customers and in this way we can manage their cash needs and logistics remotely so that we can move cash and even provisionally credit it to their accounts before we even pick it up and take it to the Federal Bank. Over the next 24 months, we will therefore create digital interfaces with our customers to enable this process.
It includes digital vault solutions or solutions via app. In addition, customers can keep the money, but it can still be already credited to their accounts. In this way, we create a bridge between the old and the new so that they both support each other.
What is money?
Coming back to Prosegur: Our biggest unique selling point is our conceptual understanding of what cash is, what money is, and how it reflects our own mode of existence a priori. To understand what money is and what forms it must take, we try to offer solutions on the market. Cash, for example, is the simple expression of a physical world that is fundamental to the functioning of society in any situation. It is safe, clean, clear, private-individual and universal. Do not forget that in our physical body we are also like this. As a company in the German market, Prosegur is primarily a developer, not a maximizer. We want to work with the authorities such as the Bundesbank and Intelligentsia such as at the universities to move forward in this area. To this end, we have launched a series of "Money Talks" interviews and want to organize events to discuss what money is and what forms it must take a priori.
It is important to continue to look at securing cash as a necessary option, something the German authorities and population have done very well and very stably over the years. However, each market is very different and those that let go of cash are now in significant trouble and need to rethink, rebuild and invest in their cash infrastructures to do so.
Author: Heath White
"I represent Prosegur Cash Services Germany, which has approx. 50 percent market share, Covid is an important cash logistics provider in Germany. In Germany, we provide more than 4.000 employees ensure the cash supply and disposal of the population and guarantee the liquidity of credit institutions, municipalities and companies. In addition, we also offer a whole range of products related to payment transactions and valuables, such as storage, cash and payment transaction outsourcing, technical services for financial devices, monitoring and forecasting cash requirements. We also transport valuables around the world and take care of asset management and much more. Prosegur has grown out of 30 companies that have been merged, reorganized, renamed or unified over the course of 30 years."