Cashless payment: Payments with Girocard reach record levels

The Girocard is increasingly replacing cash.

Cashless payment: Payments with Girocard reach record levels

The Girocard is increasingly replacing cash. In the meantime, many Germans are less likely to use notes and coins. In four out of five payment processes, consumers prefer the plastic card and the German banking industry wants to further enhance digital use.

Consumers in Germany are increasingly using the Girocard for cashless payments. The Frankfurt facility Euro Kartensysteme counted more than 6.7 billion payment transactions with the plastic card last year. That was 13.4 percent compared to the record year 2021. There was another boost for contactless payment, which retailers had particularly advertised during the corona pandemic for hygiene reasons.

"At the end of 2022, around four out of five payments in the Girocard system were contactless," reported Euro Kartensysteme as a joint venture of the German banking industry. The proportion of these payments with the Girocard increased within a year from almost 73 percent to 79 percent.

The German banking industry wants to upgrade the Girocard for digital use and use in online trading with additional functions. "This also includes simple payment within smartphone apps, the future possible link to bonus programs or the integration of the Girocard in wallets," explained Euro Kartensysteme.

"The new developments will be strongly geared towards contactless payment by card and in particular the digital Girocard in smartphones or smartwatches." Contactless payment is possible with Girocards and credit cards that have a so-called NFC chip. In addition, money can be transferred contactlessly with a smartphone or smartwatch with services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay or with banking apps.

The data for processing the payment is exchanged in encrypted form with the terminal at the checkout when customers hold their card, smartphone or smartwatch close to the device. For small amounts, it is not even necessary to enter the secret number (PIN).

The majority of the approximately 100 million Girocards that banks and savings banks in Germany have issued to their customers are equipped with the contactless function. According to industry estimates, 95 percent of the now more than one million terminals in retail allow quick, on-the-fly payments.

The average amount paid with the Girocard fell further from EUR 42.82 to EUR 42.34 within a year. In the case of contactless payments with the Girocard, the average amount rose further from 37.70 euros to 38.50 euros. According to the information, total sales with the Girocard totaled 284 billion euros in 2022 after 253 billion euros a year earlier.