Google, Mastercard, Visa and Wirecard joined a newly formed consortium led by the EHI Retail Institute in a bid to drive interest in mobile payments in the German market.

Retail-focused consultancy group EHI said the project aimed to promote knowledge about mobile payments to consumers and offer businesses advice on best practice when offering the transaction channel.

The launch of the consortium came alongside a survey of German consumers which stated 36 per cent were open to mobile payments, though the remainder were unclear of the benefits.

EHI’s study also found half of transactions were still made in cash in the country, though use of contactless cards had made a slight impact on this in recent years and now make up 10 per cent of retail payments.

While the majority of consumers in the country are yet to be persuaded of the benefit of mobile payments, retailers are also unsure according to EHI.

“The market is currently very confusing,” EHI said in a statement. “The benefits are not well known and it is unclear which of the solutions will prevail and justify the investment.” The organisation intends to “explain the different possibilities.”

Founding members of the mobile payments consortium are: Blue Code, Girocard, Google Germany, GS1 Germany, Ingenico Payment Services, Mastercard, Payback, Roqqio, Visa and Wirecard.

Tough market
The formation of the group follows a number of moves from mobile payment players to add the notoriously difficult German market to their footprints.

In June Google Pay finally expanded into Germany having already launched in most of the major European markets, while weeks later Apple announced it intended to release its mobile wallet in the country by the end of the year.

In July, Germany-headquartered digital payment specialist Wirecard extended its wearable payment system to its home market having already made the service available in a number of other western European markets.