First Data Releases Consumer Insights Study on German Consumers’ Preferred Payment Methods

54% of German consumers expect cash to become obsolete in “as little as a few years”

63% of German consumers indicate they do not fear fraud or theft when making card or contactless payments

FRANKFURT, Germany--()--First Data (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, today released its first nationally-representative study of more than 2,000 German consumers. The study examines consumers’ preferred payment methods, as well as the key factors that influence the adoption of card and contactless payment methods, including security, accessibility and age. The findings span the entire population and compare national regions.

“Contrary to the traditional ‘cash being king’ mind set, our study reveals a definite shift in consumer preference to more convenient methods of payments, not only in Germany but across the wider DACH region,” said Jörg Brand, General Manager, Germany DACH at First Data. “Our findings underscore how flexible payment platforms, like Clover which was launched in Germany in 2018, align with merchant and consumer desires.”

Notable highlights of the study included:

  • 42% believe contactless payments are more convenient, almost twice as many (22%) who view cash as more convenient
  • 54% of consumers believe cash will become obsolete in a few years
  • 52% of consumers, or more than half, prefer card payments, whereas 44% prefer cash as a payment method
  • 61% agree that card payments will become increasingly available
  • Bremen (32%), Hessen (33%), Baden-Wurttemberg (36%) and Thuringia (38%) ranked as the states with the lowest preference for cash as a payment method

Security: High Level of Trust

Contrary to the popular belief that German consumers distrust card or contactless payments for security reasons, 63% of consumers indicate that they do not fear fraud or theft when making card or contactless payments.

The study also reveals that accessibility and availability are areas to focus on as card and contactless payments become more mainstream.

  • When asked about accessibility of cashless payment facilities, 61% of German consumers indicate they expect such facilities to become increasingly more available in the near future
  • 35% of German consumers agree that more shops should accept contactless payments
  • Only 28% of German consumers described themselves as being satisfied with the current level of contactless facilities available in their area

Smartphone Payments Set to Expedite Cashless Future

Smartphone payments have only been a recent addition to the German market. The earliest adopters of smartphone payment technology in Germany were found concentrated in Bremen (39%) and Berlin (34%), whereas only 9% of Bayern have used this so far. And, while the storing of payment card details has always been a concern for Germans, the study indicated that only 26% of Germans distrust card payments for fear of theft or fraud.

Germany’s Generation Z Leading the Way

International research estimates that 440 million individuals will use contactless mobile payment services across the world this year, feeding a market that will be worth €120 million by 20221. The study revealed that Generation Z (ages 18-24) in particular is the most trusting of cashless payment technology with only 20% saying that were wary of cashless for fear of theft or fraud compared to 29% of the population aged 35-44.

For additional information about the study, please see the dedicated page and infographic on First Data’s website.

First Data commissioned YouGov to conduct the study on behalf of the Company.

About First Data

First Data (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and more than 3,700 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. The Company’s 19,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 3,000 transactions per second and $2.6 trillion per year.

1 The Future Laboratory: October 18, 2018:


Michael Schneider
Corporate Communications
First Data


Michael Schneider
Corporate Communications
First Data