A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Germany.
This Country Report provides detailed insight into the German cards market's key players, including card networks, issuers, acquirers, banks and PSPs, plus the country's payments infrastructure, digital and mobile payments developments, demographic and consumer trends, regulatory drivers, credit card profitability and more.
Germany has long been differentiated from its near neighbours with regards to payments, whether seen in the relatively slow transition from cash dominance, the decentralisation of its banking sector or the presence of the Network Service Provider (NSP) in payment processing. This report explores key developments such as the new specialist issuers that have been fast developing a profitable revolving cards business in a historically conservative market.
Merchant acquiring too is in the midst of a transformation in Germany through an ongoing round of mergers and acquisitions: this report explores the complexities of the acquiring/processing market with comprehensive profiles of the leading players, supported by detailed market data.
With industry consolidation starting to affect Germany's fractured and regionalised banking industry, we look at the drivers, likely consequences and opportunities arising for newer digital players in the German cards and payments market.
This Verisk Financial Research Country Report is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Germany's cards and payments market. Subscribers can log in to download their copy here.
Demographics and the economy
German cards market
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Payment card data
Appendix I: Demographics and the economy
Appendix II: Payments environment
Appendix III: Cards market
Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The card networks
Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers
Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing
Appendix IX: Online acquiring
Demographics and Economy: The German economy is heavily dependent on a large manufacturing sector, responsible for almost 80% of total industrial production.
Germans are renowned for their heavy cash usage. Cash has historically been by far the most popular payment method. However, the proportion of cash in relation to overall spend at the POS fell below 50% for the first time in 2018.
Germany is the largest payment cards market in Western Europe in terms of cards in circulation: an estimated 149 million at the end of 2019. In that year, some 6.3 billion card transactions were made, with an average value of $63.
Mobile payments are growing from a low base, with only a small market share from some bank-based solutions. Value-wise, mobile payments contribute less than 1% of Germany's payments market.
Net interest income is the key source of revenue for revolving credit card portfolios. It has more than doubled over the last five years thanks to overall growth in the market and the emergence of new players that have driven revolve rates higher.
The Cards Networks:
The country has a competitive credit cards market, with four major international brands, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club having a presence. UnionPay claims to have acceptance at over 70% of merchants. The dominant German scheme, Girocard, is a preferred network for domestic debit card transactions.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
The top five credit card issuers issue less than half of the cards. This contrasts with countries such as France and Britain, where the top five are responsible for a significantly higher proportion.
Acquiring and Processing:
Germany's acquiring market has been going through transformational mergers and acquisitions, a trend that mirrors consolidation in the payments space on both sides of the Atlantic, with non-banks doing much of the running.
Germany is the second largest e-commerce market in Europe, trailing only the United Kingdom. Total online card spend in Germany for 2019 is estimated at $79 billion.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
As a member state of the European Union, Germany's regulatory framework is based on EU directives and regulations, several of which have a direct impact on this payments market.
Automobile Club of Germany
Bain Capital Private Equity
Bayerische Motoren Werke
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken & Raiffeisenbanken
Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale
Deutsche Card Services
European Central Bank
Federal Ministry of Finance
Financial Market Stabilisation Agency
German Savings Bank Association
Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme
International Card Services
Network Service Providers
PSA Bank Deutschland
Revised Payment Services Directive
Santander Consumer Bank
Santander Consumer Leasing
Single Euro Payments Area
SIX Payment Services
Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken
Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.
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