Choosing the right payment methods in Germany for your online business is a noteworthy success factor in your international expansion. Understand the local payment culture and you will be sure to not lose clients over practicalities.

Germany is slower in adopting new emerging technologies than other European countries and the German consumer has been rather resistant to change and is only prepared to change existing habits if a new technology really adds concrete value in their daily life. A good example of this is the recent and “failed” attempt of the Dutch payment app “Tikkie” to enter the German market, that allows consumers to send payment requests to friends via WhatsApp. In the Netherlands 20.000 “Tikkies” are send per day, more even in the weekend with a peak of 350 requests per minute, but in Germany splitting the bill right at the table and cash payments are still preferred. Tikkie is a good example an expansion pilot that revealed how bumpy the road to successful expansion can be.

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Nevertheless online shopping continues to increase, shoppers become more comfortable on the web and therefore have higher demands when it comes to the payment methods offered. Shoppers in Germany even dare to look across borders now and then and are open to buying from foreign website. In fact, Germans are becoming one of the most open cross-border shoppers in the world.

Yet despite this willingness, Germany is a very fragmented market when it comes to payment methods. Non-credit card payment methods such as SEPA direct debit, SOFORT, and Giropay account for the majority of online transactions.

E-commerce Germany News, one of our favorite news sites reflecting on the German e-commerce landscape, just recently published “A guide to payment methods used by German ecommerce businesses”. Check out the article for a comprehensive overview of the payment methods used in Germany.

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