Changing lifestyle demographics, an increase in the popularity of online shopping and a rise in disposable income per capita supported the growth of the volume of cards in circulation in Germany.
Modernization and innovation of payment systems
Key initiatives are being taken by the Central Bank of Germany (Deutsche Bundesbank) to facilitate cashless transactions, including the adoption of the secure single euro payments area (SEPA) system, the implementation of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology and development of e-payment systems. The introduction of SEPA systems across Europe will harmonize all European retail payment systems. EMV-based cards and point of sale (POS) terminals will facilitate the expansion of the contactless payment system and NFC technology in the retail sector. Der Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV or the German Saving Bank Association) is enabling contactless technology across all bank savings cards in 2018. Additionally, Visa Europe launched its payWave enabled credit and debit cards alongside six German banks to provide a contactless payment service in 2018. Another important development in the German contactless payment system was the launch of the Touch & Travel mobile ticketing service by Deutsche Bahn. The service allows users to touch in and out at stations via ‘Touchpoints’, through the use of a near field communication (NFC) enable card or via a 2D barcode on a smartphone.
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Government proposals to reduce the use of cash and promote payment cards
According to German Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, the German economy is expected to be relatively stable despite financial uncertainties faced by most European countries. As a consequence, consumer spending is expected to grow over the forecast period. The promotion and development of payment cards will offer substantial growth for the industry. Cash is likely to become more expensive as a result of the Bundesbank’s decision to outsource more of its cash recycling facilities to private companies. This is likely to make cash less attractive for retailers as cash handling services were previously provided by the Bundesbank at little or no cost.
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Boom in e-commerce and m-commerce
Germany recorded an e-commerce and m-commerce boom during the review period. The implementation of advanced security measures such as the integrity guard, virtual credit cards, virtual keyboards and dynamic passwords increased consumer confidence.
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