More card transactions and cross-border credit transfers in Germany

The results of the payments statistics for 2017 show that payments are becoming more digital and are increasingly made within Europe. More than 21 billion non-cash payments were made in Germany last year – around 3% more than the year before. These payments were executed on approximately 103 million current accounts. The average balance on these accounts thus rose by almost 12% to around €13,000.

Card payments saw particularly substantial growth. The number of card transactions rose by almost 11%, while the volume of such payments increased by nearly 9%. In 2017, a total of about 4.5 billion card payments were made, with an average value of €62. In parallel to the rise in card payments, the number of payment terminals provided by German payment service providers in Germany increased by around 16,000 to over 1 million.

However, direct debit remained the most popular non-cash payment instrument in Germany. More than 10 billion direct debit transactions averaging €372 were conducted last year, amounting to around 121 million more than in the previous year. The number of credit transfers also increased slightly to 6.3 billion, and the number of cross-border credit transfers in 2017 rose by almost 15%. A large proportion of these credit transfers were made to Germany’s neighbours Austria, France and the Netherlands. Cross-border transactions now account for almost 3% of total credit transfers.

The number of cash withdrawals at ATMs using cards issued by domestic payment service providers decreased slightly, but the average amount withdrawn rose by €5 to €179. These changes can be attributed to a 1.5% decline in the number of ATMs to around 58,000 and changes to the banks’ pricing strategy.

For the Deutsche Bundesbank’s payments statistics, which are collected on an annual basis, all banks and other payment service providers resident in Germany report the number of accounts held with them and the related transactions made by non-payment service providers.