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Germany Country Report

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  • Published Date: May 2021

A comprehensive analysis of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Germany, with insightful commentary backed by key market data.
With Germans finally embracing digital payments and also making considerably more electronic payments now than they were in the middle of the last decade, opportunities are opening up for market entrants who can tailor their offerings to traditionally cautious consumers.
Contactless transactions have more than doubled year-on-year since 2017, while the acquiring landscape is steadily simplifying as consolidation continues.

What you can learn from this report:

How Germans are finally starting to relinquish cash.
Why revolving credit's potential is growing.
What will drive mobile payments in Germany.
The unusual role of NSPs in acquiring.
The network growing German credit card market share.

GERMANY CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • Germany has a unique retail banking model with consumers often preferring local savings and cooperative banks to commercial banks for day-to-day banking.
  • The country is finally becoming less reliant on cash, having historically been an outlier for its cash preference among major developed economies.
  • Growth in card use has continued through 2020 despite reduced retail spending due to the pandemic, with an eight per cent increase in total card transaction purchase volume over 2019.
  • Contactless use has accelerated after a slow start. More than half of all debit card transactions were contactless in 2020.
  • The cards market is dominated by the domestic debit scheme Girocard, which co-badges with other networks.
  • Germany has a small revolving credit cards market that is dominated by a handful of banks.
  • Deferred debit cards, most branded Visa or Mastercard, are preferred to traditional credit cards.
  • Germany is a pioneer of 'buy now, pay later' options in e-commerce. Open invoice was widespread here, long before the method was popularised worldwide.
  • Ownership of Germany's two largest acquirers has changed hands in the last year with Worldline taking over Ingenico and Nexi purchasing Concardis.

Germany Payments Research | Report Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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: Payments Data Tables

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

Data table 1: Demographic and economic indicators: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 2: Ownership of key consumer devices: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 3: Internet usage by population: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix II: Payments environment

Data table 4: Access points: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 5: Account penetration: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 6: Consumer payment trends: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 7: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.

Appendix III: Cards market

Data table 8: Total cards payment metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 9: Contactless cards metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 10: Credit card numbers: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 11: Total credit cards metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 12: Credit cards profitability indicators: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 13: Debit cards numbers: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 14: Debit cards metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 15: Pre-paid/e-money card metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

Data table 16: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 17: Mobile P2P payments: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix V: Profit pool

Data table 18: Profit pool: 2014-2020. Estimates and forecasts to 2023. inc. credit card numbers, billed volumes, oustandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

Appendix VI: Card networks

Data table 19: Networks' credit card market shares: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 20: Networks' credit card numbers: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 21: Networks' credit card billed volume: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 22: Networks' number of credit card transactions: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 23: Networks' average credit card transaction value: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 24: Credit card interchange fees by network: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 25: Networks' debit card market shares: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 26: Networks' debit card data numbers: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 27: Networks' debit card billed volume: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 28: Networks' number of debit card transactions: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 29: Networks' average debit card transaction value: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 30: Debit card interchange fees by network: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.

Appendix VI1: Key retail banks and issuers

Data table 31: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers: 2016-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 32: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings: 2016-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.
Data table 33: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers: 2016-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2021.

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

Data table 34: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: Estimates for 200.
Data table 35: Credit card merchant service charges: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 36: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: Estimates for 2020.
Data table 37: Debit card merchant service charges: 2014-2019. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 38: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships.
Data table 39: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships.
Data table 40: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: Estimates for 2020.
Data table 41: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: Estimates for 2020.

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

Data table 42: Online merchant acquirer market share. Estimates for 2020.

Germany Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
The unemployment rate fell to 3.1% by the end of 2019, its lowest level for the past decade. However, with the pandemic impacting economic activity, unemployment is estimated to have increased to 4.3% by the end of 2020.

Payments Environment
Germans are renowned for their heavy cash usage ... however, the proportion of cash in relation to overall spend at the POS was estimated to be approximately 40% in 2020, having been closer to 50% from 2017-2019.

Payment Cards Market
Germany is the largest payment cards market in Western Europe in terms of cards in circulation: an estimated 161 million at the end of 2020. In that year, just over seven billion card purchase transactions were made, with an average value of $65.

Mobile Payments
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.

Profit Pool
The overall German credit cards market is characterised by a larger share of deferred debit cards – at 34.6 million cards in circulation compared to just 6.2 million revolving credit cards in 2020.

Card Networks
Germany has a competitive credit cards market, with four major international brands having a presence. UnionPay claims to have acceptance at over 70 per cent of merchants. The dominant German scheme, Girocard, is a preferred network for domestic debit card transactions, while cross-border transactions are mainly routed through the processing centre of the respective brand.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
In Germany, the top five credit card issuers issue less than half of cards. This contrasts with countries such as France and Britain, where the top five are responsible for a significantly higher proportion. This situation stems from a fractured and highly localised retail banking sector.

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. Fiserv (formerly First Data), TSYS and Worldline dominate the German processing landscape.

Online Acquiring
(Germany is the second largest e-commerce market in Europe, trailing only the United Kingdom. Total online card spend in Germany for 2020 is estimated at $86 billion. Invoicing is the preferred online payment method, accounting for about 33% of total B2C e-commerce billed volume in 2019.

Regulatory and Markets Information
Under the rules of the 36-country strong Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), all payments are treated as domestic transactions with identical procedures and standards enabling credit transfers, direct debits and card payments to be processed efficiently, inexpensively and safely in all participating countries.

Germany Payments Report | Entities Referenced

ADAC
Advanzia Bank
Advent International
Adyen
Amazon
American Express
Apple Pay
Automobile Club of Germany
B+S
Baden-Württembergische Bank
BaFin
Bain Capital Private Equity
Bank for International Settlements
Barclaycard
Barclays
Bayerische Landesbank
Berlin Institute for Population and Development
BIS
BMW
BNB Paribas
Bonprix
BP Europe
BS Payone
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Bundesbank
Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken
Bunq
BVR
BW-Bank
CardDuo
CardProcess
Cardtech
Comdirect
Commerzbank
Computop
Concardis
Conrad Electronics
Consorsbank
Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale
Cyberport
DB PFK
DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank
DB Vertrieb
DekaBank
Destatis
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bundesbank
Deutsche Card Services
Deutsche Kreditbank
Deutsche Postbank
Deutscher Sparkassenverlag
Deutschland RENTE
Diners Club
Discover
DKB
DKV
Douglas IT & Services
DriveNow
DSGV
DSV Group
DZ Bank
EBA
ECB
EHI
Elavon
Equens
Esso Germany
Euro Banking Association
EuroHandelsinstitut
European Central Bank
Eurostat
Eurowings
Evo Payments
Federal Association of Public Banks of Germany
Federal Ministry of Finance
Financial Market Stabilisation Agency
First Data
Fiserv
FMSA
General Credit Protection Agency
German Savings Bank Association
Gesellschaft für Zahlungssysteme
Girocard
Giropay
Global Collect
Global Payments
Golfcard
Google Pay
GZS
Hagebaumarkt
Handelsverband
Hanseatic Bank
Harley-Davidson
Heidelpay
Hein Gericke
Helaba
Hervis
Hilton
Hymer
ICP
IMF
immonet.de
Ingenico
InterCard
International Monetary Fund
International Telecommunication Union
ITU
JCB
Karstadt
Klarna
Kreditbank
Kwitt
Landesbank Berlin
Lavego
LBB
LBBW
Lufthansa
Maestro
Mastercard
Mister Spex
Monese
N26
Nets
Nexi
Notebooksbilliger
Novalnet
Ogone
Otto
Paydirekt
Paygate
Payone
PayPal
PaySquare
Postbank
PSA Bank Deutschland
Raiffeisenbanken
Revolut
REWE Information System
Santander Bank
Santander Consumer Bank
Santander Consumer Leasing
SCHUFA
SEPA
Shell Germany Oil
Single Euro Payments Area
SIX Payments
SIXT
SoFFin
Sofort bank transfer
Sony Music
Spar
Targobank
Tchibo
TeleCash
TF Bank
TSYS
UniCredit
UnionPay
US Bancorp
V PAY
VeriFone
Visa
V-B-ZVD
Volksbanken Raiffelsenbanken
VR Payment
WEAT
Wirecard
Worldline
Zalando

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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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