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New payment trend in England and paris

First time back in rural England and Paris since pandemic. Aside from the unbelievable amount of people being tourists, the biggest change I saw is the acceptance of credit cards and Apple Pay.
No question on using your card for small purchases. Every pub, every restaurant, every bus driver, every taxi has a portable device for accepting your payment app. Cash is not that important.

Posted by
1853 posts

In London and perhaps all of the UK it was a trend prior to Covid. But the pandemic certainly accelerated it. I recall being in London January 2020. The whole week long trip could have been cashless. Contactless and pay by phone was ubiquitous.

I’m disciplined with my use of credit cards so going cashless works for me.

Posted by
940 posts

My husband and I returned to traveling last June for two weeks in England, and for a month in France and Spain in December and January 2023. We used no cash in either country. What I do find surprising is being charged for using a credit card in some restaurants in my state, NJ. This is fairly new and we were not notified of such until I saw it on our receipt. I'd at least have liked a heads up and a choice to pay cash, then.

Posted by
8632 posts

We were told (in 2017) that it was an EU law, that prohibits merchants from taking your card away from you, as is common in the US.

But I've seen the the next tech innovation in a few local restaurants. A QR code on the bill that you read and pay with your phone. (of course including tips). No card reader needed.

Posted by
14247 posts

Completely agree, Jim. The only place I needed cash were the small ice cream vans at the seaside in Northumberland - needed 3GBP for the ice cream treat I became mildly addicted to, lol!!

Posted by
7011 posts

It's pretty much all over. I barely used any cash in Germany or Scotland. And even back in 2018 when I was in the Netherlands, I was using my card or Apple Pay the entire time. In fact my favorite bakery back then did not allow cash payments (and this was before Covid)..

The only place I know of that can't seem to get its act together with Tap and Pay is the US.

Posted by
7011 posts

I needed 3GBP for the ice cream treat I became mildly addicted to, lol!!

Pam, was that the non-vegan ice cream?! 🤣

Posted by
14247 posts

"Pam, was that the non-vegan ice cream?! 🤣"

YES!!!! Not vegan but delicious. None of the vans had anything in the way of vegan treats and if Mark hadn't waved this in my face I'd not have fallen for it! I mean....marshmallow creme AND ice cream AND a Flake? Truly appealed to my palate which sometimes is the same as a 10-year-old.

Posted by
2267 posts

I just spent two weeks in Spain and never used cash once. I anticipated this, and never took out any cash, carrying just what was left over from my previous trip (which, I think, was left over from the trip before that…)

But I've seen the the next tech innovation in a few local restaurants. A QR code on the bill that you read and pay with your phone.

We have that where I bartend a couple nights a week. The first few times people used it I almost freaked out, thinking they’d walked out on their checks.

Posted by
6082 posts

Report from Portugal. Credit cards were widely accepted. However, we encountered more "cash only" restaurants than on any other trip to Europe. It was fine, we still only brought 100 euro (the balance from a previous trip) and used Multibanco ATMs when needed.

Posted by
3994 posts

Lindy, I just encountered this at a restaurant in Staten Island. The bill had two amounts - one for cash and one for credit card.
We were in Paris and London in April and could have used only credit cards. We had some euros from a previous trip we used. In London we took out some pounds and used them up at the airport. Didn’t need to get the cash.

Posted by
1598 posts

I am in Italy with a tour group and have used quite a few Euros. I have gone out for lunch/dinner with other people and needed cash to spit the cost. Manny of the toilettes required a Euro or two.

when using a toilette in a bar/cafe it is polite to purchase a small item or if I stop for a small gelato. Yes, I could use the cc but for small purchases but I still feel more comfortable using cash. And then there is the tip for the tour guide (you guessed it, not a RS tour).

Posted by
9109 posts

The only place I know of that can't seem to get its act together with
Tap and Pay is the US.

Say what? At least here in the northeast, Tap & Pay is accepted by all merchants big and small. Even vending machines and gas pumps accept it. One business owner told me it's impossible not to get a credit card payment machine that doesn't have the feature built-in.
All of my credit/debit card have had the RFID chip for several years now.

Posted by
7710 posts

Yeah, 3 weeks in England and used very little cash. The only times really were coin op machines (Car park pay points and laundry machines) that had not yet been updated to contactless.

Using contactless on the Underground was a breeze, same with buses.

Was a bit surprised, but it made sense, to see that the buskers in the Underground and around town also had contactless pay points to tap and give a pre-set tip, usually 2 GBP. Saw similar tap points around for donations and tips at museums, churches, and restaurants. Did not see panhandlers with a contactless terminal, but am sure that is coming.

Posted by
1806 posts

The only place I know of that can't seem to get its act together with Tap and Pay is the US.

It seems to be available at registers in retail or carry out situations, but most sit down restaurants in the US will not make the mobile investment for handhelds.

We were told (in 2017) that it was an EU law, that prohibits merchants from taking your card away from you, as is common in the US.

This is one law I could get behind. However, because the US is the tipping capital of the world, I am sure the National Restaurant Association has a hand in not allowing this to happen.

Posted by
15666 posts

In Dundee, the taxis all want cash. I've learned this from previous trips so I was prepared.

Yesterday. As my taxi pulled away from the train station, the driver told me it was cash only and asked if that was okay. I said yes. I was prepared.

She then said "Why should anyone know what I make especially the government."

At least she was honest.

Posted by
7447 posts

We’re using Apple Pay & cash in England. Some of the food shops, such as a gelato shop in Oxford and the Huffkins pastry shop in Stow-on-Wold are only taking credit card or Apple Pay. Hey, we are eating healthy food, too! ; )

It did give a sad scene, though, when a family with young kids was turned away from the gelato shop because they needed to pay in cash.

Posted by
959 posts

I had Euros left over from a previous pre-Covid visit to the continent. I got many strange looks last fall when using them in Paris even for a single café crème and single person museum admissions and other purchases in small amounts. Cash was accepted everywhere, but apparently no longer expected.

I'm hoping to use up the Euros in Germany this summer.

Apple Pay had been my go-to in London, last trip it was the contactless US credit card.

I was a bit surprised at how rapidly things changed. I had only about 3 years between trips. (Thank you Covid.)

Posted by
33301 posts

It did give a sad scene, though, when a family with young kids was turned away from the gelato shop because they needed to pay in cash.

Could you have paid with your card and they pay you the cash?

Posted by
2791 posts

For others, until the above post for it is removed: Cash App is a bad player, lots of negative info on the internet about it. I had an experience with it forced on me when running my 50th high school reunion. Zelle and PayPa (or checks) were nor good enough for this one person, he insisted that I was paid in Cash App. To get my money I had to give them my bank numbers and user name/password. Say what? I changed this access as soon as I saw the money. Never again with them.

Posted by
33301 posts

this is an old thread woken by the person trying to change the topic and get clicks to their link - reported for review

Posted by
7447 posts

” The only place I know of that can't seem to get its act together with Tap and Pay is the US.”

I just paid a neighbor for a kind favor by taking two trays of fresh homemade pasta over to their house. Guess I’m way behind the times. 😊