Economy & Politics

The future of money is not all digital

Digital numbers by smartphone – is this what our future looks like?imago images / Imaginechina-Tuchong

Artificial intelligence, blockchain or social bots – the future is digital. But how digital is Germany actually? In the podcast “So techt Germany”, the best digital experts provide insights into the tech scene.


“No documents. No stress ”is the Tymebank’s slogan. At the digital bank in South Africa you only need an identity card and a mobile phone number to open an account. Paying by mobile phone is safer than cash in South Africa, and more and more people are able to use the services of digital banks. The number of smartphone users has been increasing in the country for years. Currently there are an estimated 23.3 million – more than a third of the total population.

Ralf Wintergerst (Photo PR)

In Corona times in particular, distributing aid in cash – for example in South Africa – is difficult or even impossible. “With a secure and stable digital currency solution, you can send people money directly to their cell phones,” says Ralf Wintergerst. He is CEO of Giesecke + Devrient (G + D), which knows its way around cash, and has printed around 130 billion banknotes. In addition to banknotes and ID documents, another focus of the company is on IT security products. Wintergerst believes that distributing money via smartphone is a possibility that would never occur to us in Germany. Cash supply by the banks in Germany is simply “incredibly well” organized.

Payment methods parallel to each other

Nevertheless: In the long term, it will probably be more in the direction of digital money. “The world we live in today needs a good mix of everything,” says Wintergerst. The future should belong primarily to the digital euro. For this reason, Giesecke + Devrient invests in digital payment methods. G + D wants to provide central banks with a platform with which they can put a digital currency into circulation. “This technology has blockchain elements, but is not entirely based on it.”

The managing director thinks that it is nevertheless important to “not only trust in digital”. Because it shows again and again how careful one should be with digital money transactions. “It’s a huge IT system that was created. With a lot of interfaces. It’s the people’s money that is going through there, ”says Wintergerst. He does not advocate a complete abolition of banknotes and coins.

In the new episode of “So techt Germany”, Ralf Wintergerst tells what G + D has to do with the Federal Chancellor’s security system and how security is in industry and medium-sized companies.


You can find all episodes of “So techt Germany” in the n-tv app, at Audio Now, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Soundcloud and Spotify. You can use the RSS feed for all other podcast apps. Take the feed URL and simply add “So techt Germany” to your podcast subscriptions.


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