How Corona is changing our payment behavior – eCommerce Magazin

Even if cash has always been firmly established in the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany has not been a pure “Cash-paying country“More, because cards and smartphones are gaining in importance and are changing that Payment behavior.

Payment behavior survey

Almost every second person now claims to have paid for their last purchases with a card. And one in ten of the 16 to 29 year olds has even paid for their last errands with their smartphone. Information about the current payment trends in Germany there is one representative survey of the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy among 1,237 people on behalf of the German Payment Systems Initiative for Paying in Germany.

2020: a special year, also for card payments

Card payments have already seen a significant boost in recent years: while 66 percent said in 2016 that they generally prefer to pay in cash, in 2019 it was 60 percent. This year it is only 52 percent. At the beginning of July 2020, almost one in two (48 percent) made their last purchases with a card.

However, there are still clear differences between the age groups: among 30 to 44 year-olds (61 percent), card payments are now just as dominant as among 45 to 59-year-olds (54 percent). The youth already seem to be one step further and many are ready to switch from the card to the smartphone: Ten percent of 16 to 29 year olds and eight percent of 30 to 44 year olds say they have their last purchases with them paid on the cell phone. The over-60s, on the other hand, still mostly paid in cash (65 percent). However, the values ​​for card payments are also increasing significantly here (from 24 percent in 2019 to 35 percent in 2020).

The card trend is clear, but it took time. It looks completely different with contactless payment. Never before has a function of the girocard been accepted by consumers as quickly as contactless payment. Today every second person says that they have already paid without contact. In 2019 it was still 30 percent – astonishing growth considering the fact that the contactless girocard was only gradually introduced from 2016. But many see the new type of payment as a particularly fast, convenient method and are getting used to it.

Corona is changing payment behavior

Another reason for the surge in the use of electronic and, in particular, contactless payment systems is the ongoing corona crisis. According to their own statements, 39 percent have therefore consciously paid more often by card in the past few weeks. Almost half of the respondents (44 percent) say they want to maintain this behavior after the Corona crisis.

And that does not only apply to larger purchase sums, but also to small change amounts of up to 25 euros. Cash still dominates here with 68 percent, but one in five (21 percent) already prefers to pay these smaller sums with girocard, and four percent prefer to use their smartphone. The credit card brings up the rear with three percent. Ease of use (83 percent), “it’s fast” (79 percent) and “you don’t have to make sure that you have enough cash with you” are named as reasons for the changed payment behavior and payments with cards or smartphones for less than 25 euros ( 77 percent). In response to the increasing demand to be able to pay larger amounts contactless and PIN-free, the German banking industry raised the limit for contactless payments without entering a PIN from 25 euros to 50 euros.

The willingness to pay with the smartphone is also increasing

More and more consumers are apparently realizing that paying with their smartphones can also be quick and practical. Even if not everyone is using it yet, 41 percent of those surveyed already think it is modern to pay via smartphone. One in five (20 percent) thinks this payment method is particularly fast. The girocard has been available in NFC-enabled Android smartphones since 2018 and is becoming increasingly popular.

Sparkasse customers have recently been able to use the girocard via Apple Pay on their iPhone. Just like the plastic card, the smartphone can simply be held up to one of the approx. 755,000 contactless payment terminals to pay at the till. The general trend towards electronic payment systems therefore also seems to pave the way for a growing willingness to use mobile payment. Because almost a quarter (24 percent) can already imagine paying by smartphone.

The accelerated acceptance of the contactless function of the citizens suggests that in the future it will be more frequent to reach for the smartphone and not in the wallet. For a long time, Germany was considered a laggard in electronic payments, but it is now firmly established in society. Perhaps that is why the smartphone, but in any case contactless payment at the checkout – in addition to cash and cards – will soon be part of our everyday lives.

You can find more results of the study in the synopsis at

Also read: Why diverse payment methods are so important for retail