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Successful start to the Christmas season: sales figures cause expectations to rise; card payments growing in popularity

+ Nearly ten per cent more sales at Concardis merchants on the first Saturday of Advent compared to the previous year
+ Contactless payments at POS more than doubled compared to previous year

Eschborn, 8 December 2017. Compared to the first weekend in December in the previous year, sales transactions for POS and e-commerce customers of the payment service provider Concardis increased by some ten per cent on the first Saturday of Advent. As experience shows us, sales on the second and third Saturdays of Advent should increase even more significantly, which means that sales as of year end will be better than initially anticipated.

Due to the high level of foot traffic during the Christmas season and the increased use of cards for payments, particularly fast payment processes enter the spotlight: compared to the previous year, the number of contactless transactions carried out at stationary Concardis terminals increased by a factor of 2.5 – and as much as tenfold compared to 2015. By now, the infrastructure for contactless payments at the point of sale is largely already in place: all current Concardis terminals are equipped with NFC (near-field communication) technology, which enables the contactless transmission of transaction data. Additionally, more and more credit and debit cards come with contactless functionality: in the past year, German banks and savings institutions have begun integrating NFC into their debit cards. By the end of the year, around 30 million contactless-enabled debit cards will be in circulation in Germany. 

For contactless payment, the customer holds their card close to the terminal with NFC functionality to initiate the transaction. For amounts of less than €25, neither PIN nor signature is necessary, which makes payment with contactless-enabled cards both fast and simple – the process is concluded in only two or three seconds.

According to Statista, sales in the German retail industry during the Christmas season have continuously increased since 2009. Last year, €91.8 billion in sales were generated during the Christmas season, thus making up some 19 per cent of total annual sales.

Christian Drixler

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