51% of German transactions still made with cash

About 51% of all transactions in Germany in 2023 were settled using banknotes and coins, according to the Bundesbank’s latest study on payment behaviour in Germany.

However, measured in terms of turnover, debit card payments accounted for 32% of total expenditure, placing them firmly in first place, followed in second place by cash (26%) ahead of credit transfers and e-payment methods such as PayPal, Klarna and giropay.

“The trend of declining cash use continued,” said the Bundesbank.

“Compared with the 2021 study, the share of payments settled in cash sank from 58% to 51%.

Bundesbank executive board member Burkhard Balz said: Although this decline is no longer as pronounced as during the coronavirus pandemic, the share of cash payments is falling faster than in previous years.

According to the latest study, debit cards were used in 27% of payments. They were the second most frequently used means of payment, recording a significant rise of 5 percentage points relative to 2021.

The share of mobile payments also increased sharply, albeit from a low starting point. The proportion of transactions made up by mobile payments trebled, rising to 6%.

Consumers mainly preferred to settle larger amounts by debit card.

However, even smaller amounts are now being settled more frequently using cashless means of payment, said Balz.