Survey: potential for cashless payments not yet exhausted


According to a survey, six out of ten people in Germany would generally pay more often by card or smartphone – but there are a number of obstacles. At the bakery or butcher, in a taxi or in local transport, but also in some restaurants, consumers are still dependent on cash in their own experience. 26 percent of the more than 2000 adults surveyed by the polling institute YouGov stated that they would use cards and smartphones more often to pay “if there were more options”. 14 percent would use this route more if they could withdraw cash at the checkout at the same time.

“Under pandemic conditions, avoiding cash payments is recommended for reasons of hygiene and health protection. The creation of a comprehensive infrastructure with contactless card terminals offers considerable potential here,” commented Jürgen Wache from the cooperative association on the results of the survey, which was carried out on behalf of the Volks- und Raiffeisen banks in the association was carried out.

The association, based in Neu-Isenburg, represents institutes in all federal states with the exception of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Wache is spokesman for the board of directors of the Hannoversche Volksbank and heads the working committee for markets and products in the cooperative association.

With the contactless method, the payment card does not have to be inserted into a device. The data is encrypted and exchanged with the terminal at the cash register when the card is held in front of the reader. In the case of small amounts, it is not even necessary to enter the secret number (PIN). During the pandemic, the German banking industry doubled the limit for card payments without entering a PIN in retail from 25 to 50 euros per use.

The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards digitization throughout the industry, and many institutes are further thinning out their branch networks. In the survey, one fifth (22 percent) of those surveyed said they had been to a bank branch less often since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to do banking with a personal contact. A good third (36 percent) of those surveyed were at least as often in the branch as in pre-Corona times.

Overall, the survey participants are predominantly open to electronic access to the bank: 55 percent can imagine doing simple services such as exemption or standing orders over the phone, 29 percent see it differently. For example, 49 percent would seek advice on retirement provisions or financing via video chat, a third are cautious.

The data are based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 2028 adults took part in the period from March 26th to 29th of this year. According to the information, the results were weighted and are therefore representative of the German population aged 18 and over. One of the questions asked was: Would you like to pay more often by card or smartphone? How often have you been to a bank branch since the start of the corona pandemic (i.e. since March 2020) compared to before the corona pandemic to do banking with a personal contact?


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