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Germany Country Report

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  • Published Date: January 2020

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Germany.

This Country Report provides detailed insight into the 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 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 this 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.

What you will learn from this report:

  • How revolving credit is becoming more of a feature
  • Why debit cards are enjoying a new lease on life
  • How the acquiring business is being transformed
  • Which scheme has been gaining credit cards market share – and how
  • How digitalisation is affecting the incumbents

Germany Cards and Payments Market Key Facts

  • Germany has a unique retail banking model with local savings and cooperative banks often preferred to commercial banks for day-to-day banking.
  • The country stands out among major developed economies for its cash preference. Recent trends however point to a shift in payments behaviour.
  • The average German adult made just 74 card purchases in 2019, far below France (264), Britain (372) and Sweden (431).
  • Growth in card use has been accelerating though with card spend for 2019 estimated to be 27 percent higher than in 2017.
  • The rollout of contactless, combined with a less conservative younger generation, is key to the increasing popularity of cards.
  • The cards market is dominated by domestic debit scheme Girocard, which has almost full coverage among consumers.
  • Deferred debit cards, mostly branded as Visa or Mastercard, are preferred to traditional credit cards.
  • Germans use a wide range of payment methods for online purchases: payment by invoice, e-wallet and direct debit are the most popular.

Germany Country Report Table of Contents

Key facts
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Entities referenced in this report

ADAC Advanzia Advent International Adyen Aldi Amazon Amazon Germany American Express Apple Apple Pay Automobile Club of Germany AvD B+S Baden-Württembergische Bank BaFin Bain Capital Private Equity Barclaycard Barclays Bayerische Landesbank Bayerische Motoren Werke BMW BNB Paribas Bonprix BP BS Payone Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken & Raiffeisenbanken Bunq BVR BW-Bank Comdirect Commerzbank Computop Concardis Conrad Electronics Consorsbank Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale Cyberport DekaBank Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bundesbank Deutsche Card Services Deutsche Kreditbank Deutsche Postbank Deutscher Sparkassenverlag Diners Club DKB DKV DriveNow DSV Group DZ Bank ec card ECB eCS Elavon Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren ELV Equens equensWorldline EU European Central Bank European Union Eurowings Eurozone EVO Payments Federal Ministry of Finance Financial Market Stabilisation Agency FIN-NET FirstData Fiserv FMSA German Savings Bank Association Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme Girocard Giropay Global Collect Global Payments Golfcard Google Pay GZS Hagebaumarkt Hanseatic Bank Harley-Davidson Heidelpay Helaba Hervis Hilton HVB Hymer ICS immonet.de Ingenico InterCard International Card Services Karstadt Klarna Klarna Kwitt Landesbank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg Landesbank Berlin Landesbanken LBB LBBW Lufthansa Maestro Mastercard Masterpass MINI Mister Spex Monese N26 Network Service Providers Notebooksbilliger.de Novalnet NSP Ogone Otto P.O.S. Transact Paydirekt Payone PayPal Paysquare payWave PSA Bank Deutschland PSD2 Puma Revised Payment Services Directive Revolut Santander Santander Consumer Bank Santander Consumer Leasing SEPA Shell Single Euro Payments Area SIX Payment Services SIXT SoFFin Sofort Sony Spar Sparkassen Super-Landesbank Targobank Tchibo TeleCash TF Bank TSYS UniCredit UnionPay U.S. Bancorp V Pay Valovis Bank VfB Stuttgart Visa Visa Checkout V-B-ZVD Processing Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken VR Payment Wirecard Worldline Zalando


Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

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