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Half of Germans want the Deutsche mark back

Eleven years after the introduction of the euro every second German still longs for the return of the Deutsche mark, according to a new poll published on Tuesday.

Half of Germans want the Deutsche mark back
Photo: DPA

Some 51 percent of those surveyed by market research institute Ipsos admitted they wanted their old currency back.

Just 30 percent said that they rejected the idea, while another 18 percent were undecided, the Hamburg-based institute reported.

German confidence in Europe’s single currency has been rocked in recent months by the Greek debt crisis and the eurozone’s ensuing bailout of Athens. Though it remains considerably stronger versus the US dollar than the mark was back in 1998, the euro’s precipitous decline has sparked concern in Europe’s largest economy.

Longing for the mark, replaced on paper in 1999 and as physical notes and coins in 2002, depended on the respondent’s age. People between 50 and 64-years-old said they wanted to see a mark comeback, a desire echoed by only 42 percent of those between 16 and 29.

The split between eastern and western Germany was marginal, with 52 percent of those in the west and 48 percent in the east saying they preferred the mark to the euro.

Education also played a role in opinions. Only 34 percent of those who graduated from a college-preparatory high school said they’d fill their pocketbooks with the old bills, compared to two-thirds of those who completed vocational school, Ipsos found.

Some 1,000 representative Germans between the ages of 16 ad 64 were interviewed between April 9 and 12 for the results.

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Cashless payments in Switzerland: What is Twint and how does it work?

If you live in Switzerland, you are likely no stranger to Twint and maybe even use it regularly to make and receive payments. But if you are not familiar with this app, this is what you should know.

Twint app can be installed on a mobile phone.
“Twinting” money with a smartphone is easy and convenient. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In Switzerland, the word “Twint” is used both as a noun and a verb.

As a noun, it describes the mobile application which allows you to pay for various goods and services practically everywhere in the country.

As a verb, (“to twint”), it means to send someone money, or receive it, via the same app.

So what exactly is Twint?

Simply put, it is digital cash (not to be confused with bitcoin, which is digital currency) that was first introduced in Switzerland in 2014 and has become very popular since then.

Twint logo. Image by Twint.ch

People like it because it is an easy and quick way to make instantaneous payments, especially in situations when credit cards or physical cash can’t be used.

A big part of its convenience is that it can be used at cash registers, vending machines and parking meters, as well as in online shops — pretty much everywhere in Switzerland, even in places that don’t accept credit cards.

The only similar mode of payment would be your maestro debit card issued by your bank.

This video explains exactly how the process works.

Another advantage of Twint is that you can use it to send money to someone else’s mobile phone — as long as they also have Twint. And you can receive money the same way.

And there are no fees or charges for this service.

How does Twint work?

Anyone can use Twint, but you need a Swiss bank account or a credit card and, of course, a smartphone.

According to Twint website, you need a smartphone with either an iOS (from version 12.2 and upwards) or Android (from version 7 and upwards) operating system and Bluetooth capability (from version 4.0 and upwards).

“It is generally not possible for Twint to be used on Apple devices with an operating system older than “iOS 12.2” or on Android devices with an operating system older than “Android 7”. On Android devices without access to the Google Play Store (e.g. on certain HUAWEI models), the use of Twint app is also not possible”.

But If you have a compatible phone, installing Twint is easy.

Swiss banks offer their own version of the app, and you can download it directly from your bank’s website.

Then, when you use Twint to make a payment, the amount is debited directly from your bank account or credit card.

By the same token, if you receive payment from another Twint user, the money is automatically deposited in your account.

And you are not limited to just one Twint app.

If you have accounts is several banks, or have more than one credit card, you can install and use all of them.

READ MORE: How to open a bank account in Switzerland

Can Twint be used to make payments and receive money from abroad?

For the moment, Twint can be used solely in Switzerland and payments can be made only in Swiss francs – although this may change in future. 

“We are, however, working closely with providers in other countries to develop an international and multi-currency solution”, according to Twint website.

You can find more information about Twint here.

READ MORE: Which bank is best for Americans in Switzerland?

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