In germany, there are particularly strong reservations about paying with cell phones, according to a new consumer study.
According to a survey of 2,500 residents of ten european countries, only 5 percent of german consumers used their smartphones to make payments at the end of last year, write financial experts at the consulting firm pwc strategy& in the published investigation. This was the lowest figure. The swedes were in the lead, with at least a third of them having already used their cell phones to make payments.
The smartphone payment systems also got off to a comparatively late start in germany: google pay has been around since june 2018, apple pay since december 2018. By way of comparison: in the uk, the services were already launched in may 2016 (google) and july 2015 (apple).
Among german consumers, 58 percent of those surveyed so far see no reason that could make mobile payment palatable to them in the future. The proportion of skeptics was thus higher than in any other participating country.
A major concern of consumers, according to the study, is the transfer of personal data associated with mobile payments to financial service providers. Pwc also surveyed nearly 60 managers in the financial sector – who far overestimated the willingness of european consumers to disclose personal data.
According to the bundesbank’s statistics, the number of electronic payment transactions is also increasing in germany year on year, but the reluctance to transfer personal data to financial service providers is, according to the pwc study, rough, and not only in germany.
Three-quarters of french respondents and more than two-thirds of germans said they would not share their data with anyone, even if they were rewarded with financial incentives or additional services.
IT companies such as google, apple and amazon have to contend with even greater distrust than banks: even in mobile phone-loving sweden, only 8 percent said they were willing to provide personal data to the IT giants.
The survey results show that apple in particular has not yet got through with its message that no data ends up at apple when paying with apple pay. The transactions are only stored locally on the iphone and in the booking system of the bank or credit card company, as recently confirmed by security researcher mikko hypponen from the finnish security company F-secure.
Even the recipient of an apple pay payment can’t see from whom he actually received the money. Google, on the other hand, reserves the right in its terms and conditions to evaluate the google-pay data.
Apart from the reluctance of citizens, other obstacles stand in the way of the spread of mobile payments in europe, the authors of the study write. There is no pan-european payment system – there are currently 15 national electronic payment systems and an even larger number of online and mobile payment services, which are also predominantly country-specific.
Business consultants argue for a faster phase-out of cash. They argue that electronic payments are more convenient for consumers and allow better control of their own financial situation. "German consumers do not yet recognize the practical added value of the new data sovereignty that open banking offers them," explained study author andreas pratz.