Payment behaviour in Germany in 2008 An empirical study of the utilisation of cash and cashless payment instruments

Cash continues to be consumers’ preferred payment method. Nonetheless, the turnover share of cash transactions in the German retail trade has been slowly but continually falling for years. Having said that, the proportionate fall is balanced out by the absolute increase in the transaction volume. The declining significance in the retail trade contrasts with the overall increase in cash circulation in Germany.

By contrast, above all debit cards have become increasingly popular in recent years owing to a greater level of acceptance and technical improvements. Against the background of this development, in this paper the Deutsche Bundesbank comprehensively analyses the cash and cashless payment habits of the general public in Germany, as well as the factors influencing their choice of payment instrument, and estimates future developments on this basis. This study focuses on payment habits at the socalled point-of-sale (POS).