Savings Banks stepped up their digitalisation efforts during coronavirus year 2020

10.03.2021 - Press release Nr. 08

In Germany, 23 million people make use of the Savings Banks’ online banking services – 8 percent more than in 2019. This was announced by the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) on Wednesday at its virtual financial press conference. In addition, 11 million customers use the S-App for iOS and Android smart phones – 69 percent of those every day.

“During coronavirus year 2020, Savings Banks put their horsepower on the road in their digitalisation efforts and achieved significant growth”, said DSGV President Helmut Schleweis at the video conference broadcast from Berlin. Referring to the numbers, he added: “This applies to online banking and to payments”. Last year, Savings Bank customers used their girocards in 2.6 billion transactions for payments to merchants – which was 500 million payments more than in the previous year and represents nearly half of all girocard payments in Germany.

In this context, contactless payments grew at an above-average rate. In December 2020, 66.8 percent of girocard payments were contactless, including contactless payments using physical cards and the digital girocard in smart phones. In the course of one year, payments made with the mobile payments app “Mobiles Bezahlen” quadrupled to 1.48 million transactions.

Apple Pay is now used by 1.5 million Savings Bank customers. By the middle of the year, Savings Bank customers will also be able to use their girocards in Apple Pay for payments in apps and on web sites.

“In the past, customers tended to be reluctant to use digital and mobile payment services; this has changed radically – no doubt also due to our new, more digital everyday lives in times of the coronavirus”, concluded Schleweis with a view to the future.

Efficient German and European payment solutions were important, he added, to offer customers relevant alternatives to current payment methods –independently of international service providers. For this reason, the Savings Banks Finance Group is involved in #DK (Digitale Kreditwirtschaft) and the European Payments Initiative (EPI). Both initiatives are aimed at building up German and European acceptance networks and payment solutions. Schleweis: “Digitalisation and payments are fields of considerable strategic importance for us. Our digital services are indispensable for the relationship with our customers.”

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