No card at all, or Just No products by MasterCard and Visa? Many German stores only Accept Girocard, a banking and payment card solition the majority of German Banks issue, but no other cards, since merchants apparently pay MUCH lower fees with a Girocard Transaction.

I was once in Ramada Hotel in Frankfurt near European Central Bank (old site). They were not accepting any other card but Maestro. No Visa, no Credit Card, no American Express or Dinners Club. You could not pay cash only, because you could pay cash for a room but not a security deposit. Deposit only in Maestro.
So second place for the most backward cashless payment system among civilized countries (first goes to USA) goes to Germany.


Btw, I also read this about Germany (which is also super funny):

Although cash is king in Germany, many small shops, cinemas, and even some larger stores will not accept payment with high-denomination notes (50-euro or 100-euro bills). Why? They want to (1) avoid counterfeit-bill losses and (2) avoid running out of change.

I will call police, if merchant in Germany will not accept my 200euro bill.

They will probably laugh. Shops aren’t forced to accept big bills even though it’s a valid means of payment


Indeed. Spanish stores seldom accept 100 notes. ATMs do not dispense higher than that, if at all. The merchant might be the one calling the police if you show big euro bank notes.

I will never forgot look on cashier’s face when I paid for icecream with 100usd bill in store in Cambodia. That was PRICELESS :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

For what it’s worth most European countries to my knowledge aren’t actually required to accept cash

In the UK for example we have “legal tender”. Legal tender only applies in settling debt though.

If no debt is created you can charge 14 whale corpses and that’s still perfectly valid to excuse sale for.


Its just akward if they dont want to take cards but also dont want to accept all notes (including 500 euro - which is rare but I’m sure I can still get one if I wanted).

Stop carrying absurdly large notes

Get 20€ ones and they’ll be accepted

The merchant has no obligation to even serve you, let alone take your notes

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Notes bigger than 20€ is absurdly physically large, that is true :neutral_face:

I don’t know where you live, but €50 is not large in my view. If I go out to eat in the evening with my wife and kid in Austria while on vacation, paying €50 to settle the bill is quite normal. Then not accepting cards and refusing a €50 banknote does just not make sense.


Yeah but for the vast majority of cash transactions it would be for small amounts - most places take card above a minimum amount and if they don’t

Their average bill isn’t going to be 50€ most likely.

They’re going to want to reduce their fraud risk as well as not run themselves out of change.

If you’re paying after the meal though, pay with the 50€. If it’s not accepted just say you will not pay. As you’ve tried to settle a debt with legal tender, (presuming 50€ notes are legal tender in your jurisdiction) they have no leg to stand on.

I still don’t see what’s hard with carrying 20€ and 10€ notes instead of 50€ ones though, I manage it easily enough when I do carry cash

They didn’t take any card’s
There answer was, no card’s only cash

There are shops that only take cards
Like the ice cream stand a kew gardens london
There was a sign, card payment only

You would need to specify what big bills are. For some that may be 20€, some might say that only 500€ notes are really big. But as far as I know every merchant must accept bills regardless of its big or small value.

Well, Germany has been very slow with card payment implementation running on MC/Visa networks. It’s still very much cash payment society but they do have their own debit card system called Girocard - those cards are commonly co-branded with Maestro. So most German merchants would accept Girocard, many of them would also take foreign Maestro - but even today (although it’s changing and international cards are much more widely accepted than few years ago) you can easily see places that don’t take Visa and Mastercard. And I’m not talking about lille village kiosk but chain branded restaurants and shops.
That’s why Revolut can send you Maestro card if you’re based in Germany (and few other countries).
So I’m afraid that even if Revolut had a credit card (that would have to be either Visa or Mastercard or both) - that would be beneficial for some uses (reservations, onboard shopping) but would not help in any way in some countries where card acceptance networks are focused on local debit payment systems (Germany, Holland, Switzerland).

Swiss ATMs only give 50€ notes which is where most Swiss people get their € from.

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Switzerland does not have a local debit payment system (besides maybe the Postfinance card which will be accepted in addition if at all).
Debit cards are mostly Maestro without co-branding

True with a little twist. As SIX payment services, the major acquirer in Switzerland, was owned by the local banks as shared IT service company, they built their own local clearing/settlement network without using the MasterCard network. This avoids a substantial amount of the interchange fees for the Swiss merchants. That’s one of the reasons, why still many merchants accept Maestro but not MasterCard.

Not correct.

A merchant has freedom of association. They don’t have to serve you to begin with.

Also, as I mentioned previously, legal tender is only a thing in settling debts. This is why you can trade things (and not only sell them for money). A debt is created where I provide a service and you pay me for that service after it has been provided. I can refuse your note if you’re paying beforehand.

Legal tender exists for settling debts in pretty much every country, if not all. This is to stop people from refusing your bill then suing you for not paying.

If you’ve offered to pay a debt with legal tender and it’s refused, they’re not able to sue you.