The re was an increase of almost a billion transactions. With almost 5.5 billion transactions in 2020, the card at the checkout reached a new high. Not only the number of transactions increased, but also turnover: to 236 billion euros. This corresponds to an increase of 12% compared to 2019.
Of course, contactless payments were particularly popular in times of the pandemic. While only around four out of ten transactions were carried out contactless in January 2020, this proportion rose to 60.4 percent by the end of the year. Sales from contactless payment roughly doubled. Contactless payment processes also include paying with the digital girocard, for example on a smartphone. This is also becoming more and more established.
Since payment is only approved here via the smartphone, for example via fingerprint or face recognition, the payment process is particularly hygienic. Of course you can argue about it, because touchscreens are often pure bacteria. But at least it is better than entering the PIN on a terminal that hundreds of people touch every day.
The average payment amount fell from EUR 46.86 in 2019 to EUR 43.14 in 2020. At the same time, however, the average amount of contactless payments with the girocard rose to EUR 35.31 (2019: EUR 33.93). In the meantime, the providers are granting more freedom here, since the limit for PIN-free, contactless payments has been raised to 50 euros.
The spread of card payment is increasing, because smaller shops such as bakeries are now increasingly relying on card payments. Accordingly, the number of active girocard terminals increased by over 30,000 to up to 904,000 in 2020. But they are still working on an overall system for all customers of banks and savings banks in Germany. A first step has been taken with the merger of paydirekt and giropay.
The aim is to achieve a solution that can be used for all applications, with which one can pay in-store and online, as well as send and request money.
This is of course a reaction of the banks to PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Co. Whether something really useful comes out of this product, time will tell us.