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Credit Card Usage in Germany

Six out of ten Germans shop online...

...yet credit cards remain least popular form of payment!

- Growth rate of 10%
- New online payment systems gain market share
- Credit card usage remains low

Six out of 10 Germans shop online according to the latest BITKOM.org “web monitor” analysis conducted by Forsa. In late 2008 only half of the Internet users had first-hand experience with online shopping. “Online shops have become a full-fledged alternative to high stores because of alternative payment methods and better return policies” says BITKOM’s vice president Achim Berg.

Online Payment services like Deutsche Telekom’s T-Pay, Click&Buy and eBay’s PayPal have gained in acceptance and market share in a country that’s got everything but a love affair with credit cards. While in 2008 only 11% of Germans used online payment providers the rate has grown to 17% of the total population or 29% of the 30-40 years old now (+9%). People prefer not to disclose their bank account information at every single payment transaction, which is why those services have become so popular.

However, post-payment via bank wire remains the most often used form of payment in Europe’s largest economy. 41% of the 82 million Germans used this payment method for online shopping before. Only 36% used pre-payment and direct-debit was chosen by 22% as preferred settlement method. Paying by credit card, unsurprisingly, is the least popular form of payment. Only 15% of the entire population call it their preference.


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