Cash is the most widely used means of payment in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – but its importance is steadily declining. This is the result of a representative survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of the management and technology consultancy BearingPoint, which was published in Frankfurt on Tuesday. According to the survey, the trend toward contactless payment is steadily increasing, and payment services are also becoming more popular.
Spectacular gain by Apple
Among the new service providers that enable cashless payments, U.S. providers stand out: the Paypal payment service, for example, continues to be the second most-used payment method in Germany after cash. Although mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay only achieve around five percent usage overall, Apple’s rise in this segment is spectacular. The frequency of Apple Pay use among the younger generation has doubled compared to the previous year. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 12 percent in Germany and Switzerland and 14 percent in Austria now use the payment option via Apple Pay. In the previous year, only an average of 6 percent of the young age group in the three countries had used this payment service.
In Germany, 66 percent of respondents primarily use cash, compared with 75 percent the previous year. In Austria, 78 percent (previous year: 83 percent) and in Switzerland, only 64 percent (previous year: 71 percent) use cash. According to the survey, the vast majority of respondents in all three countries cannot imagine giving up bills and coins altogether. As in the previous year, well over 60 percent of respondents cannot envisage giving up cash in the next five or ten years.
Differences in the three countries
In Germany and Switzerland, a number of consumers are not as comfortable with the new technology associated with the new payment methods. 58 percent of Germans say familiarity (58 percent) is the most important characteristic for using cash. Among the Swiss, this figure is 53 percent. For Austrians, anonymity (59 percent) is now the top priority, which is why the majority of them still rely on cash.
After cash, Paypal took second place among the most frequently used payment methods in Germany with 59 percent, although the popularity of the payment service declined in the two neighboring countries: In Austria, the figure fell to 42 percent and Switzerland to 31 percent. In Switzerland, the national payment service Twint has a strong market position at 45 percent.
The data used is based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Germany on behalf of BearingPoint, in which respondents participated between 2. and 21. June 2021, a total of 3119 people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland took part. The results have been weighted and are representative of the respective population aged 18 and over.