Card payments continue to grow in popularity in Germany

Card payments continue to grow in popularity in Germany

A little more than a year after cards finally overtook cash as the most-used payment method in Germany, the popularity of the magical little squares of plastic continues to grow. 

3,7 billion payments made by card in first half of 2022 in Germany

According to a survey undertaken by Euro Kartensysteme GmbH - an association of German banks and savings banks - 3,7 billion payments were made by Girocard (EC Card) in Germany in the first six months of 2022 - around 17 percent more than during the same period last year. Girocard transactions totalled more than 134 billion euros, 17,9 percent higher than in the previous year. 

The data also shows that customers are increasingly taking advantage of convenient contactless payment methods, using either the contactless function on their card, or paying via mobile phone or smart watch. In the first half of this year, a massive 74 percent of Girocard payment transactions were contactless, up from 64 percent last year. 

According to Euro Kartensysteme, more and more retailers are responding to Germany’s changing shopping habits and providing the option of paying by card. For the first time ever, this year saw the number of card payment terminals in the country rise above 1 million.

Number of card payments has doubled since 2017

For a long time, Germany has been a country where cash remained supreme, but the impact of the coronavirus crisis - which made people more concerned about handling banknotes and coins - seems to have finally spurred on the inevitable. 

The effect is particularly apparent from the five-year trend: Since 2017, the number of transactions made by card in Germany has more than doubled - from around 1,5 billion in the first six months of 2017 to more than 3 billion in the first half of 2022. Sales increased by around 72,5 percent in the same period. 

Reflecting their rising popularity, Girocards are increasingly used to pay for smaller and smaller amounts, with the average receipt amount falling from 50,66 euros in the first half of 2017 to 42,36 euros in the first half of 2022. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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