German Consumers Not Enthusiastic About Mobile Payments

January 19, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It would be safe to assume that much of Europe is interested in mobile payments, and routinely puts this technology to use. Word out of major European powers like France and Great Britain suggests that this market is absolutely packed with options and interested users.

Yet when the focus turns to Germany, arguably Europe’s true economic muscle, the interest falls away. Germany actually badly lags its European counterparts in terms of mobile payments use, and the reasons are a surprise.

Only four percent of German mobile phone users, on average, turn to in-store mobile payments, which is long behind the rest of the field. Two reasons particularly stood out in a Deloitte study on the matter; 45 percent cited a lack of “discernible value” added as a result of mobile payments, and 38 percent considered security a major problem, problem enough to keep them out of the fray altogether.

The next biggest reason was 18 percent who said the option wasn’t even available on their device. Eleven percent cited a lack of places to use the system, nine percent called it too complicated, seven percent didn’t understand the options available and another seven percent considered the phone screen too small for such things.

That’s not the best news, particularly for mobile payments in Europe. It’s doing well as a concept, but without one of Europe’s biggest names in play, it could inherently limit the market. Thankfully, the issue seems to be two major problems: security and overall value.

Just getting mobile payment systems on more devices would perk up the German market fairly quickly, but mobile payment providers need to do what was done in the United States back in the early days of mobile payments: sell security, and sell value.

Value isn’t so difficult; start incorporating loyalty programs and automatic coupon mechanisms, and that should take care of that. Security is a tougher sell, that comes with proving reliability. Emphasizing security developments here, however, should prove helpful.

Better security, better value, and more options for use on devices and in stores. Those four points together should turbo-charge the entire mobile payments market in Germany and make it as great as it could be. Failing to do so, meanwhile, will fundamentally limit the market.