Ever more payments being made by card
Debit cards are being used ever more frequently to pay for purchases. In 2019, payments with debit cards – normally issued in the form of "girocards" by German banks and payment institutions – rose by 20% on 2018. The strong growth seen in previous years thus continued, with debit card usage climbing more substantially than that of all other cashless payment instruments. Credit card payments rose by 14%, while credit transfers and direct debits increased by 3%.
Debit cards were used for three-quarters of all card payments in 2019. On average, each person in Germany owned 1.4 debit cards and used them for an average of five payments per month. Cards were used to withdraw money from ATMs twice a month.
The average payment made with a debit card totalled €49 in 2019. In 2018, this figure was €53; prior to that, it was €56. The decline in the average payment amount indicates that such cards are increasingly being used for smaller transactions, too. The coronavirus pandemic heralded a rise in the number of contactless payments. Continued strong growth in debit card payments is thus expected for 2020.