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The classic payment methods are cash, bank transfer, direct debit or credit card payment. In the course of the digital transformation of the financial sector, alternative payment methods are increasingly being used. These include:

  • • Carrier billing: Regular bills can be paid via the mobile network provider. More and more digital service providers such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix are now using carrier billing-based payments in Europe. Widespread adoption is the key growth driver for the market. The amount to be paid is included in the mobile phone bill or deducted from the credit balance of a prepaid account. This payment method requires the terminal device to be connected to a mobile network; the procedure does not work with a WLAN connection.
  • • Contactless payment via Near Field Communication (NFC): NFC and the associated chips enable the rapid exchange of data between two devices, for example an NFC-enabled smartphone or a credit, prepaid or giro card equipped with an NFC chip to a cash machine. To pay with an NFC-enabled smartphone, users need a so-called wallet app on their mobile phone. Contactless payment at cash registers is often limited to a low two-digit amount. Higher sums usually require the entry of a PIN. Wearables such as smartwatches have been using the same technology for some time. Customers hold the respective device directly to the payment terminal, confirm the transaction and the payment is completed.
  • • Contactless payment without NFC technology (QR code): Some payment apps for smartphones and tablets allow contactless payment without NFC technology. For these apps, users usually have to register with personal data including account or credit card information. Unlike Near Field Communication, this payment method uses an online connection to a central server. A well-known example is the barcode method: Users have to photograph a QR code (Quick Response Code) displayed in the POS terminal or printed on a receipt with their smartphone. This QR code connects the end device with the appropriate server. Users usually have to confirm the amount to be paid in the payment app by entering a PIN.

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