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 exchange objects – and in history everything came under the cloak of exchangeability.
It is also sacred-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 highest 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 the 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 the money traffic began with the goldsmiths, who transported the gold, which they kept for their "customers", back and forth, before they offered in principle the storage in safes.
There is 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. Basically, money serves three purposes: it is a trustworthy medium of exchange, a means of storing value, and a "value gauge". Also, it allows us overall to understand the value of a thing, which reflects 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 basic, just like our body is a basic 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's universal and can be used by anyone at any age.
- It is immediate – the transaction with the money is done now and explicitly.
- It's safe – if you save it, it's only in one place. It cannot be hacked from anywhere.
- It is anonymous, d. H., when I make a transaction with you, it can stay between us. There are no digital trails, 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 total payment transactions in germany, we can see that the share of cash is declining (although the nominal volume of cash is still increasing, of course). While it was over 50 percent before the pandemic, it is now dropping to 40 percent and below.
This is not a surprise because we are living in the early days of the virtual and digital world. However, this reflects a fundamental need to create a balance between the physical and the virtual world, to unite them, so to speak. If cash were to disappear, the above bids would have to be solved in other ways.
The essence of cash is its "security" and the ability to physically place it in one place. It's a last resort when all else virtual or debt fails. Cash is immediate and unique in a given situation. Most financial crises in recent years (and there have been hundreds in the last century) have had to do with the simple question, "where is the money?"Complex balances and leveraging have a lot of potential but understandably can also cause significant damage.
Cash for stability and security
Cash is important for stability, security and the aforementioned expression of human existence. That's why economically viable cash logistics and cash handling services are needed – for their own (economic) performance and for the benefit of the market.
Covid has had a significant impact on our business and also on cash as a whole in two ways. First, there was a significant drop 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 lot of fluctuation in business coming back and then leaving again.
It's been a very tough time for the industry – as it has been for many industries. As can be seen, however, cash is resilient and it's our job to make sure it doesn't go away on its own and take care of itself, 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 that 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. In the next 24 months, we will therefore create digital interfaces to our customers to enable this process.
These include digital vault solutions or solutions via app. In addition, customers can keep the money, but it can still already be credited to their accounts. In this way, we create a bridge between old and new so that both support each other.
What is money?
To come 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. Don't forget that in our physical body we are also like this. As a company on the german market, prosegur is first and foremost a developer and not a maximizer. We want to cooperate with the authorities like the bundesbank and the intelligentsia like at the universities to move forward in this field. To this end, we have launched a series of "money talks" interviews and intend to organize events to discuss what money is and what forms it must take a priori.
It's important to continue to look at securing cash as a necessary option, something that the german authorities and population have done very well and very stably over the years. However, each market is very different and those who have let go of cash are now running into significant difficulties and need to rethink, rebuild and invest in their cash infrastructures to do so.
Authored by heath white
"I represent prosegur cash services germany, which, with approx. 50 percent market share is a major cash logistics provider in germany. In germany, we represent more than 4.000 employees secure 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 payments and valuables, such as storage, cash and payments outsourcing, technical services for financial devices, monitoring and forecasting cash needs. We also transport valuables around the world and handle wealth management and more. Prosegur has emerged from around 30 companies that have been merged, reorganized, renamed or unified over the course of 30 years."