The Briefing

The league of unusual payment methods.

Pay with cash, card, or your thumb!

April 14, 2022
Reading time 2 min.

🌈 A quick taster for you:  

  • Germans still love their cash.
  • Pay with a wave of your hand.
  • Or pay without paying!

🧐 Why do I care?

The pandemic has given contactless and digital payment methods a global boost — but Germany is still lagging behind other countries. That’s because the all-time favorite for Germans remains, you guessed it, cash! Yet in the rest of the world, new and innovative payment methods are gaining ground. Today, we'll introduce you to a few of the most interesting ones. 

🔍 What exactly is happening here?

  • NFC olé olé
    If you're a regular reader of our newsletter, then you’ll know that we're big fans of paying with our smartphone or smartwatch — simply because we always have those things with us wherever we are. The technology behind the payments works on the same principle as your bank card: Near Field Communication, or NFC for short.
  • Biometric payment
    Did you know you can pay with your face, or even with your thumb? We already use biometrics to open our phones, and at the check-in while traveling outside the EU. Because no one can quickly duplicate our biometrics, our money and payments are kept well protected. And biometric technology has some new moves up its sleeve — Amazon has announced that you’ll soon be able to pay with just a simple hand gesture.
  • Social Payments
    You've probably heard of WeChat. It’s the messenger service from China that enables its users to pay via chat. The technology behind it is pretty simple: When shopping, you generate a QR code on your cell phone — this is then scanned by the merchant and ta-da, the payment is made! It’s essentially using the same barcode principle that we see on products in the supermarket, but it’s been neatly packaged into a messenger service and digitally translated.
  • Pay without paying
    Oh, speaking of supermarkets: there are already test runs going on for stores without any checkouts! Instead, they have: complete monitoring. Via cameras, scanners, and sensors around the store — and an app in your smartphone — they know exactly what you’ve picked up. Then when you leave the store, you pay directly via the app without even lifting a finger.

🤓 What does this mean for me?

There really are so many more relaxed, hygienic, secure, and contemporary ways to pay instead of carrying around a bunch of notes and random coins. If you've read this far in our newsletter then we're sure it won’t be too long before Germany catches up with other countries in the innovation stakes — the more people there are like you, the better!

Which leads us to our question of the week: What’s your preferred payment method? And which new payment methods would you like to see?

On that note we wish you a Happy Easter, or if you don't celebrate Easter then here’s to a wonderful weekend!

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