Direct debit system most popular with online shoppers

Direct debit is the payment method most used for internet shopping. 38% of Germans have at least once used this method when shopping on the internet. The following most popular payment methods are on account (29%), credit card (20%) and cash on delivery (17%). Online payment systems such as Paypal or T-Pay are used to a clearly smaller extent in just 11% of all cases. These figures were published in the »Webmonitor« report of the Forsa polling firm.

The Webmonitor is compiled each month jointly by Forsa and the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM). For its latest edition 1002 Germans were asked in a representative survey.
»Most consumers opt in particular for well-tried payment methods such as direct debit or on account. In the meantime ten percent have come to use special online payment methods too. These will be even more widely used over the years to come«, says Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer, BITKOM president, on the presentation of the findings of the above survey.

Currently it is most of the time men who rely on special online payment methods. One in seven people (15%) have already paid this way for their internet purchases. With regard to women this percentage is just 7%. There are also differences in terms of age. While in the age group of 18 to 29 years one fifth (20%) have already used at least once an online payment method, this figure is just 2% for those aged over 60.

At the same time online payment methods offer maximum security in the opinion of BITKOM. Users did not have to communicate confidential bank account data to each single shop but just once to the provider of the online payment service. Only the provider of the online payment service knows the confidential banking data of online shoppers.

Anyway, online shopping is becoming more and more popular in Germany. Compared to the year 2003 the percentage of people purchasing goods or services on the internet has almost doubled and amounted 38% in 2006. Thus, Germany noticeably surpassed the EU average of 20%, as was revealed by BITKOM. One of the fastest growing market segments has been that for music download. GERMAN