Capterra / User study 2020

A boost for cashless payments

According to a recent study, more than half of all Germans have installed a mobile payment app on their mobile phones.
imago images / Westend61
According to a recent study, more than half of all Germans have installed a mobile payment app on their mobile phones.

Minimising the risk of infection with Corona is a motivating factor for a large proportion of Germans to opt for cashless payment. The software comparison platform Capterra asked 1,000 Germans about their payment behavior - and found out that the Corona crisis is driving the use of cashless payment methods, but that cash payment is still the most popular payment method in this country.

Developments on the part of consumers and retailers have made themselves clearly felt in recent months: many shops that only allowed cash payments before the outbreak of the pandemic are now even encouraging payment by card. Other shops and catering establishments no longer accept coins and notes at all. On April 15, the German Banking Industry doubled the limit for card payments without PIN entry to 50 euros per use in order to "support contactless payment as a hygienic payment method in the current situation. In addition to card payments, smartphone payments via virtual wallets are also increasing during the crisis.

To what extent payment preferences (outside the virtual space) have changed due to the crisis has been investigated by a recent Capterra study with more than 1,000 participants.

The main findings of the study

59 percent of Germans prefer cash payments because they want to make sure they can pay anywhere and at any time.

54% of Germans
have a mobile payment app installed.

Regular payment by mobile wallet has increased by 7 percentage points during the crisis.

38 % prefer to shop in stores that offer cashless payment than in competitors that do not.

A virtual wallet or mobile wallet app (Apple Pay, Google Pay or apps from Volks- und Raiffeisenbank, Sparkasse or Postbank) has already been installed by 54% of participants, according to the study. Of these, 97 percent use their smartphone for mobile payments and 3 percent use a Smartwatch. Younger generations use mobile wallet apps more often than older ones. Regular payment by virtual wallet has risen to 61% during the crisis - up 7 percentage points.

Contactless payment via smartphone

35 percent of the respondents use mobile payment apps, as they are the fastest way to pay. 29 percent of users state that they use virtual wallets for health reasons, as completely contactless payment is possible (no need to enter the pin as with card payment).

However, according to the survey, cash payment is still the most popular method of payment in Germany - for all age groups. This means that Germany lags far behind its neighboring countries in terms of cashless payments. In the Netherlands, the debit card is the most popular payment method with 53 percent and in France with 56 percent. In Italy, the credit card takes first place with 30 percent.