Worry about the blackout: How to get your money in the event of a power failure
Created: 11/30/2022, 12:40 p.m
By: Patrick Mayer
In the energy crisis again in focus: cash as a means of payment.
(symbol photo) © IMAGO/Fotostand / K. Schmitt
Financial authorities and banks are preparing for possible power blackouts in Germany.
What you should now know about the money supply.
Munich/Frankfurt am Main - They have long since established themselves: electronic and digital means of payment.
Many people now prefer cashless payments with an EC card or a smartphone app such as Apple Pay to carrying a wallet full of banknotes.
But: In the current energy crisis with developments that cannot yet be foreseen, the trend suddenly becomes a risk.
Risk of power blackout: Experts advise storing cash at home
For example, although Germany's gas storage facilities are full again, blackouts - i.e. power outages - are still not completely ruled out.
For example, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has repeatedly advised Germans to stock up on emergency supplies in recent months, not knowing how long the Ukraine war and its global consequences will last.
However, experts also recommend an emergency supply of cash in the household.
The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BKK) recommends always having a “sufficient amount of cash” at home in case of an emergency.
According to the BKK, the need depends on the size of the household, a specific amount is not mentioned.
On the other hand, the Upper Austrian civil protection from the neighboring country, for example, is more precise.
the Berliner Morgenpost
, the authority advises 500 euros in small notes per household.
In the video: Emergency plans for power blackouts - How Germany wants to secure access to cash
But: Can I still withdraw enough money in the event of a blackout?
If there is no electricity for ATMs?
What about paying when devices for card payments can no longer be charged, for example in restaurants or retail?
Withdraw money despite power failure?
Counters are once again becoming an alternative to ATMs
In any case, tax authorities and banks in Germany are preparing and working on emergency plans.
As the Reuters news agency reports, the Deutsche Bundesbank from Frankfurt am Main is planning to increase its cash holdings.
According to Business Insider
, Reuters refers
to "four people involved in the plan".
With its updated inventories, the Bundesbank is prepared for very high demand.
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Withdrawing would continue, but only on site at the bank at the counter.
Sounds like from another time.
First catch: A number of credit institutions have closed many branches in recent months and years due to ongoing digitization.
An example is the Commerzbank in Munich.
For example, they closed their heavily frequented branches on Sonnenstraße on the edge of the old town, at the beginning of Landsberger Straße near Theresienwiese and on Fraunhoferstraße in the Isarvorstadt between the Glockenbachviertel and Gärtnerplatzviertel.
In the area of the Munich branch, Commerzbank will close a total of 15 branches by the end of the year.
And savings are also evident on staff.
The result: long queues in front of the branch at the main train station.
Need money during power outages?
Securing cash also has its pitfalls
This is one of the reasons why it is advisable in many places to stock up on cash at home.
There is probably a second catch: security companies that transport the cash from A to B could become a weak point.
Because: According to the Federal Association of German Money and Value Services (BDGW), explains Reuters, priority access to fuel and telecommunications during a power outage is not comprehensively regulated by law.
Ergo: The security companies are not (yet) classified as systemically important.
After all, the banks consider a widespread power failure to be "unlikely", said the German banking industry at the request of Reuters.
In the end, only the cash supply at home helps to avoid unpleasant surprises.