Smart Devices – the New German Cashless Option

January 2021

2020 will go down as the year when previously traditional German consumers discovered the advantages of cashless payments. A sub-trend, and one that looks set to gain momentum in future, is the growing numbers of people using smartphones and smartwatches to make their purchases.

In a new survey, German digital industry association bitkom found that 79 percent of Germans regularly used cashless payment option in stores from September to November of last year. And 39 percent said that they paid for purchases at least occasionally with smartphones or wearables such as smartwatches.

Meanwhile sales of smartwatches are booming in Germany. The website statista says purchases in the country rose from 2.3 million to a projected 3.2 million from 2018 to 2020 – only two years.

Experts have identified convenience as a main driver of the trend.

“It wasn’t that long ago that someone taking out a mobile phone at a check-out counter or holding a smartwatch up to a scanner was an exotic sight,” said bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder to the press. “Today it’s part of everyday life, thanks in part to the boost in digital payments owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Most people keep their smart phones on them at all times, so they’re ideal replacements for wallets.”

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