Germany lags behind in mobile payment usage


Proximity mobile payment uptake in Western Europe has been slow, largely due to the popularity of traditional payment methods like cash, credit cards and contactless credit cards.


Germany has the lowest usage rates in the EU-5, according to eMarketer's latest forecast on worldwide proximity mobile payment users. However, the launch of Google Pay there could help spur adoption.

In Germany, there will be 5.8 million mobile payment users this year, up 36.6% over 2017. That means only 11% of smartphone users utilize proximity payment apps, making it the lowest-penetrated country in Western Europe out of the ones eMarketer forecasts, and on par with developing countries.

“Cash is still an integral part of the retail culture in Germany and is the main reason why Germans have been slow to adopt in-store mobile payments,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen said. “Until this year, none of the major global tech players even had an app available in Germany. But Google Pay’s launch this June has given Germans a more compelling reason to try proximity payments. And Apple Pay’s imminent arrival could soon add another option.”

eMarketer expects Germany to add 1.6 million new users in 2018, more than any other Western European country.

Meanwhile, world leader China will have 63.5% of the world’s proximity mobile payment users in 2018, higher than the 61.2% previously expected. This year in China, 525.1 million people will use a proximity mobile payment app at the point of sale*, up more than 13% over last year. That equates to 79.4% of China’s smartphone users.

“Chinese citizens have skipped the adoption of credit cards, making proximity payment apps part of day-to-day life,” eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Showmik Podder said. “This starkly contrasts with Western countries, where payment app adoption has been slow, and the credit card is still king. The biggest players in China—Alipay and WeChat Pay—design their systems such that they are easily integrated with already popular social media and on-demand services platforms. This ease of use is helping to drive expansion, with further growth coming from rural users.”

It cannot be overstated how far ahead China is regarding proximity mobile payment adoption compared with other countries. The second-highest market in terms of users is India, which still lags far behind with 73.9 million users. Importantly, India is the fastest-growing proximity mobile payment market. This year, adoption in India will jump 39.7%, with double-digit increases expected through 2022.

* ages 14+; mobile phone users who have made at least one proximity mobile payment transaction in the past six months; includes point-of-sale transactions made by using mobile devices as a payment method; excludes transactions made via tablet.


eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

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