One day without cash

Life without cash can nearly anybody of us imagine. But what would we be without our credit cards? Lost – right? Actually there are many parts in our life where living without your purse isn’t a problem but quite easy and normal. Instead of your wallet you just need your smartphone. Sounds weird and complicated? I’ve tried it – and here are my experiences.

7:30 I get up and go out to eat a traditional Chinese breakfast in a streetfood booth, scan the code in front of the stall with Alipay. The payment is completed in only 5 seconds.

8:30 Just as the other days, city center is in the severe traffic jam, it’s hard to find an available taxi in this kind of chaos. So I manage to go to my office on time with the help of Didi Chuxing, after setting my tip to 10 yuan (about 1.3 Euro), I successfully find a ride-sharing taxi in 1 minute. After 20 minutes, I arrive at my destination and pay the bill through scanning the code with the app “WeChat” and the embedded app “Tenpay”. Maybe tomorrow I will try car2share.

11:30 After a whole morning of the stressful work, go to the convenience shop and eat the lunch is definitely a kind of relax for me. Of course Alipay and Tenpay can be used here, since all convenience shops support these two payment methods…

12:00 In my break at noon, I begin to consider, if I should book a cake as a surprise for my girlfriend. I open my Wechat app and visit there the official account of “21cake”, where you can order cakes. I finish the payment and then visit some other restaurant´s official accounts to receive several coupons, which might be useful this Weekend. On my way back to office I buy a bottle of cola with the new sound wave payment on a beverage machine through Alipay.

18:00 Sadly, it’s another common day for a business newbie in China: I have to work overtime for another 1 or 2 hours, so I order a take-out for dinner in “”. I receive my meals in 30 minutes after confirmation. My only hope now is that I can be off duty before 20:00.

19:00 Luckily, I get off my work at 7pm. I have heard there is hot discussion on social media about a Movie going on. I read the film review in “Douban” and decide after that, to watch it with my girlfriend. I inform her via WeChat and order two tickets and popcorn from “Maoyan”. The cinema is not far from my office. I can’t remember when I did some exercise last time since my graduation from school, therefore I rent a bike through “OFO” with my mobile phone. I pick up the bicycle outside off my office and drive to the cinema as fast as possible, just pretending that I’m still in a regular fitness program…

22:00 After the movie, we go back home. I surf the internet and try to order a good gift for my girlfriend’s upcoming birthday. At first I’m thinking to buy something creative and not that expensive, so I go to After wasting some time I switch, because I want to purchase a new mobile phone for her as a gift. Sadly I find the phone is a little bit too expensive for me, but I successfully complete the payment process with the help of “Ant Fortune” (an overdraft service provided by Alipay which is based on the Chinese SCHUFA).

23:00 After I check my profit on Yu’e Bao (a Money fund service provided by Alipay) and pay my bills for water and electricity with Alipay, I can finally go to bed and have some sleep. When I am in bed one thought pops up into my mind: How did my parents manage the whole family without e-payment and smart phones? And how did the Chinese teenagers work and live 5 years ago without all the technology?

He comes from Jilin in China and is doing an internship at Daimler Financial Services in Stuttgart. He studies Business Engineering and lives now in Germany.