Card turnover in Germany increased by 11% in 2011, taking the total to €267bn ($362bn), according to a research by PaySys Consultancy.

The report stated that Germany has experienced an average growth rate of 9.3% over a five-year-period, from 2007 to 2011, despite an increase in 2009 of only EUR18bn.

A relevant 15% of card turnover in 2011 was within the petrol station sector, where the price of fuel was the key factor in the growth. Foreign cards have driven growth increasing by almost 19%, with foreign cardholders predominantly using credit cards.

Cards amounted to a third of all payments in Germany in 2011, whilst two thirds of other payments were other methods such as cash and credit transfers.

In terms of card systems, Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren (ELV), which is a direct debit system based on signature, has remained the most important growth generator, despite the potentially impending abolishment of the domestic direct debit systems as a result of SEPA.

The reports statistics were significantly different from those released by the German Central Bank and the Eurosystem, which described a growth of 10.2% with card turnover only accounting for €166.2bn. The consultant explained that the difference in its figures came from the fact that the Central Bank statistics only used commercial banks information, whereas they have included foreign and private label cards. It added that the authorities statistics only registered 35% of all ELV-turnover the rest of which was added under direct debit and that these two differences represented the €100bn difference in results.

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