Few ATMs – why we are so afraid to cash out


You know it: at the cigar shop, in the café, at the fruit stand you can only pay in cash, then you often run through the city for minutes before you find an ATM. But why are there less and less, even though we Austrians like to pay with cash. And why are we so attached to the bear?

“Good luck with cash payments!” That was the answer I got when I asked a friend how much money I should exchange for my visit to him in Gothenburg, Sweden. And indeed: for four days I was able to pay for everything with my bank card or even with my smartphone without any problems. Shortly after this holiday I was in London on business, and here too: coffee in the morning, the newspaper in the tobacconist, postcards and stamps at the street stall, even the tip for the buskers – for all that and more I had only my mobile phone to whip out.

Everything is different at home: at the entrance of many cafes and inns it says “Cash only” in big red letters and in a number of bars debit card payment is only possible from a certain amount. If you know that, you can withdraw money in advance. But where? In the middle of Vienna’s first district, I recently had to look for an ATM for almost 15 minutes – on the way I found one that had run out of money; and another that charges a €5 withdrawal fee.

That is why there are fewer and fewer ATMs in Austria
Totally nervous, I gave up looking for cash – and a cup of coffee – and have been wondering ever since: Where have all the ATMs gone? It is not inconceivable that these money spouts are becoming less and less in Austria – more and more machines are being dismantled. I am interested: will this trend continue? Is something being done about it – if so, what? And why does the debate about the “abolition” of cash always make us so emotional?

Source: Krone


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