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Germans prefer to pay by card

The trend towards paying by card when shopping in brick-and-mortar retail is continuing. “The Germans changed their payment behavior significantly in the Corona years and mostly stayed the same after the pandemic. They still prefer to pay by card,” said Horst Rüter from the Cologne retail research institute EHI today, summing up the results of the latest study on “Payment Systems in Retail 2023”. There are no signs of a trend reversal back to more cash.

According to the EHI study, a total of around 465 billion euros were turned over in stationary retail in 2022, an increase of 35 billion euros compared to the previous year, which was still heavily influenced by Corona. The share of card payments rose again by 0.9 percentage points to almost 60 percent or EUR 277.9 billion. The Girocard was also at the forefront in 2022, which alone accounted for 41.9 percent of sales. Around 37.5 percent of purchases were still paid for in cash, a drop of one percentage point compared to the previous year.

Mobile payments are increasing

On average, every person in Germany went shopping in a stationary store 215 times last year, according to the EHI. That added up to 17.9 billion transactions, a 7.8 percent increase over the previous year. However, trading was still a long way from the pre-corona level of 20 billion transactions.

According to the EHI, the proportion of mobile payment transactions via smartphone or smartwatch increased significantly last year. The experts reported that 5.4 percent of all card-based payment transactions are now processed with a card digitally stored in the smartphone, in most cases via Apple Pay, Google Pay or the apps of the savings and cooperative banks. A year earlier it was just under 3 percent.

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However, contactless payment with the presence of the card still has a big lead. A good 71 percent of all card payment transactions were recently completed in this way. The card is only inserted into the terminal for less than a quarter of the payment transactions, it said.

Also read: “Without cash, people become transparent citizens”

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