Google Pay launched its mobile payment app in Germany, a market where debit and credit card providers have struggled to displace cash as the primary payment method for small retail transactions.
Its launch is in association with finance providers Commerzbank, Comdirect, N26 and Wirecard brand Boon. Although N26 and Wirecard offer Apple Pay in other markets, Apple’s service and rival Samsung Pay are not commercially available in Germany.
Despite efforts from banks to promote debit and credit cards, cash remains the preferred payment method for the vast majority of transactions below €50 in the country.
Figures from the German central bank Deutsche Bundesbank show 74 per cent of transactions below €50 were made with cash during 2017, with the average adult carrying €107 in physical money.
Its statistics also reveal the lower the value of the sale the more likely it is to be paid with notes and coins. Purchases below €5 were made with cash 96 per cent of the time with the figure dropping to 88 per cent for sales from €5 to €20.
Even for high value transactions (of more than €500) a quarter of transactions recorded were with physical notes and coins. Google Pay limits vary by market, but in most regions the maximum is around €30.
The bank concluded non-cash was growing in importance, but “88 per cent of respondents would like to be able to pay in cash in the future. Abolition or restriction of cash is refused.”
The Google Pay service – formerly branded Android Pay – has expanded to almost 20 markets across the world since its debut in the US during 2015, including several major European markets.