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As the world continues to move online, businesses, financial institutions, merchants and governments all need to accept secure multi-channel payments in order to prosper. Payment companies are at the forefront of this change, their importance in the economic ecosystem is significant as businesses and consumers increase their usage of alternative payment methods every year. In a highly innovative market, advances in the commercial services industry allow businesses to operate internationally, without borders and to accept payments securely and effectively.
Germany has a reputation for being a high-tech country with a cash-dominated economy. Its cash usage is high (67% of the total number of consumer-to-business transactions in 2018), but the payments infrastructure is well developed, with approximately 165 million cards, roughly 1.1 million terminals, and a well-established processing landscape (McKinsey).
The emergence of the mobile wallet app has been one of the leading disruptors to the traditional payment services sector. As the number of smartphone users in Germany increases - projected to rise from 61.57 million to 64.97 million people in 2022, the number of people utilising their phone as a method of payment is likely to increase. In June 2018, Google launched Google Pay in Germany, while Sparkasse introduced its own homegrown rival to the US tech giants' contactless systems in August. Apple then followed in Google’s footsteps and launched its payment service Apple Pay in December 2018.
Apple's partners include the largest bank in Germany, Deutsche Bank, as well as N26, HypoVereinsbank, Hanseatic Bank, Fidor Bank, American Express, Santander and Comdirect Bank. The move towards mobile payments should be seen as a cost saving strategy for these financial institutions - banks in Germany currently spend about €2bn on services to support cash transactions: a combination of setup and maintenance of ATM networks, cash logistics, and other related costs. A move towards mobile payments will increase profits and free up money to be used in other parts of the organisation.
The future looks bright for professionals working in the sector - Arno Walter, chairman and CEO of Comdirect Bank AG says "I believe that mobile payments will establish itself in Germany, the country of cash.” The sector is expected to grow exponentially and by 2022, it’s estimated that the transaction value of mobile payment apps globally will reach €12.7tn.
Our expert consultants located in Berlin, are specialists in their markets, recruiting top talent for leading organisations in the commercial services sector throughout Germany and Europe.