Debit Card Transactions Soar in Germany Amid Digital Wallet Growth

Germany’s girocard clocked 6.7 billion transactions in 2022, a 13% increase compared to the year prior.

This led to a 12.2% jump in sales to more than €284 billion during that same period, the interbank debit card service, which issues one of the most prevalent cards in the country with over 100 million in circulation, recently reported.

The positive trend signals a boom in cashless payments, a trend the German Banking Industry Committee is looking to capitalize on with new developments for the retail sector, working hand in hand with retail and service companies.

“The girocard will be used more flexibly in a variety of acceptance points — not only in store-based retail, but also by mobility providers, in the food service industry, and in many other areas. This also includes simple payment within smartphone apps, possibly linked with bonus programs, or the integration of the girocard in virtual wallets,” the report stated.

The report stated further that the new enhancements will be “strongly focused on contactless payment with card and, in particular, the digital girocard in smartphone or smartwatch.”

Digital Wallet Use Surges

Apart from cards, data from a recent PYMNTS report shows that a high number of German consumers use digital wallets for payment transactions.

According to the report, published in collaboration with Stripe, Germany is the most digital wallet-centric nation among the 11 countries surveyed, with 44% of all domestic online transactions using digital wallets.

In fact, 83% of all wallet transactions in the country use PayPal, and among the five EU countries studied in the report, only Italy comes close to Germany (42.1%) in preference for digital wallets, while in France it represents a meager 19% of transactions.

Germans’ preference for digital wallets is not only limited to online transactions. The report further revealed that 20% of all in-store transactions that take place in the country are made using mobile devices — the highest of all EU-5 countries.

In another PYMNTS-PayPal study on how consumers’ attitude to super apps, researchers found that 20% of German consumers surveyed reported being “very” or “extremely” interested in a super app.

German banks were shown as the most trusted super app provider by Germans (29%), per the report, before PayPal (16%), eCommerce firms (11%), Big Tech players (12%) or card networks (14%).


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