mobile payments in germany

Mobile Payments

in Germany



IT card (3) established
bulky pop out comfortable
fun king (2) even though
rare currently spend/spent/spent
data feature protection
unsafe partner native (2)
rate sign up continuous
trendy fin tech launch (2)
savvy embrace customer
cash startup savings bank
app digitally make a move
wallet diverse as of now
offer influence association
trace available spectrum
evolve reach (2)



Video: Mobile Payment in Germany



Marco Kammradt likes to drink coffee. And what the IT professional likes even more than drinking his coffee is paying for it — not with cash or cards, but his smartphone.

Marco Kammradt, Early Adopter: “My wallet is heavy and bulky; just the fact that I don’t have to reach for it is super comfortable. It’s a lot of fun to pay — even though I’m spending money, just because it’s a completely different experience than paying with cash or cards.”

It’s an experience still rare among Germans: cash remains king in Germany, where currently only two percent (2%) pay with their smartphones.

Those who don’t, don’t see why they should, and as with most new technologies here, people worry about their data.

Person One: “I only bought my smartphone this year for safety reasons. I say it’s too dangerous because of data protection.”

Person Two: “I try to pay in cash as much as I can so don’t leave traces everywhere. It’s too unsafe for me, with all the data and everything.”

But slowly, the market seems to be changing: Mobile Bank N26 was the first bank to partner with Google to bring smartphone payments to Germany, in late June.

Lorenz Lungling, Chief Product Officer, N26: “We can definitely see there has been a strong need for users to have this feature because you will see very, very great sign up rates the first couple of days for people that have waited for that. That and so if I look at how the future is continuous use, we are very happy with the future.”

That said, N26 is a trendy fin-tech startup, popular with young and digitally savvy customers. It’s not a great surprise that they are embracing mobile payments.

But the long established German savings banks are also making a move: they’ve launched their own mobile-payment apps, which means most of their customers could as of now, pay with their smartphones.

Thomas Rienecker, German Savings Banks Association: “Payment methods always evolve with customers’ needs; but these are very diverse. There are many people who still want to pay by cash.

So we’ve always offered a full spectrum of payment methods. But it’s likely that new technologies will have more and more of an influence.”

The mobile payment feature has been available since early August 2018.

First results show it’s not only young digital natives who are using it. So maybe next time Marco Kammradt pops out for a coffee, he won’t be the only one reaching for his phone.

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1. Mobile phone payments are only used in supermarkets and department stores. True or false?

2. “It’s a lot of fun to pay — even though I’m spending money . . .” Can you add anything further? What can you conclude from this?

3. “Cash remains king in Germany.” What does this mean?

4. Nowadays, virtually everyone (99%) pays with a smartphone. Is this right or wrong?

5. Why are some or many people wary of using electronic payments?

6. Will mobile payments become more common, less common or remain the same?

7. Is the best banking or financial strategy to coerce everyone to pay with mobile apps?


A. My friends and I pay mostly through smartphones. Yes or no? Have you seen people paying with their phones?

B. How do people in your city and country make purchases, with smartphones, bankcards, cash or all of the above?

C. What will happen in the future?

D. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile payments?

E. What should people and the government do?


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