As time has gone by, we have seen the ever-decreasing use of physical money. This is due to the fact that it has a number of disadvantages when compared with its “digital” or “electronic” equivalent. First of all, it can prove difficult to make very expensive purchases with physical money in Spain, mainly because the withdrawal limit is relatively low. This measure is designed to avoid large payments being made in physical money, given their tendency to be linked to dirty money, in other words, the infamous underground economy.
Secondly, walking the streets with large amounts of money is not safe. The first reason goes without saying: you could be robbed. Spain is by no means a dangerous country, but all the same, it’s better to be safe than sorry. What’s more, being robbed for is altogether different to being robbed for 500. The second reason boils down to the mistrust felt by retail agents when they are given large sums of money in cash. For instance, if you were to buy a television priced at and used your card there would be no problem at all, however, if you used physical cash, such as the €500 note, this could be an issue.
For this reason, the best thing to do is stick to electronic payments.
For example, in Spain contactless has become quite commonplace. You can use contactless to make payments of up to without needing to enter your PIN and of over by entering your PIN. This system is extremely useful as it means for small payments we’re no longer left searching our pockets for change for about half an hour just so we can pay the exact amount. It avoids queues building up in supermarkets, for instance. Furthermore, as it’s limited to if your card is ever robbed you won’t suffer too much.
However, contactless is not the only option, you can also pay with your mobile.
Numerous studies have shown that paying with your mobile is much safer than making traditional card payments. But be that as it may, I should point out that mobile payments are not as widespread in Spanish cities as contactless, for example. At HolaBank every type of contactless device and system is already available: wristbands, mobile stickers… which can be requested from their offices once you are a customer.
For these reasons, electronic payments in Spain are totally safe and comply with European Standards. While this is true, we should point out that sometimes, in certain establishments (such as small corner shops) neither card, nor contactless, nor mobile payments are accepted below a certain amount (there’s usually a 10-euro minimum).