Pay for a Beer with Cash Only?
On the payment world map, Germany is still marked as an “old-fashioned”, cash-preferring country, even though its economy is one of the strongest on the globe. 80% of all the money transactions in Germany are made in cash, comparing to 45% next door in the Netherlands. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reports that, on average, every German carries twice as much cash in their wallet as a typical Australian or French. Such an affection to coins and paper currency lies in the core of German culture: they prefer to take control over their spending habits. With a credit card, it is easy to lose track of things. By using cash instead of plastic, Germans just try to avoid the situation of having a debt.
However, apart from the culture, there is another reason why card payments are not welcome on the festival: crowded Oktoberfest tents. Everyone who has been to the Oktoberfest already knows how packed the tents usually are. Whereas it is fun for the visitors, for the waiters it is a real challenge to elbow their way through hundreds of people and keep serving tables. With 6,9 M liters of beer consumed annually at the Oktoberfest, just imagine how hard and stressful this task can be. While supplying the guests with ample amount of beer, the personnel also needs to handle the payments immediately on the spot. It is not beneficial from a time management perspective as it takes time for a card to be processed and accepted and the waiters need to be fast in taking care of the visitors. Nevertheless, some Wiesn tents do already accept cards, but only in case of group payments.