Merchants can offer the technology as key enablers of mobile payment. However, this technology offering is also fragmented as different merchants often accept different mobile payment methods and technologies. This stands in marked contrast to the wide and standardized acceptance of girocards and credit cards. Girocards, for example, are issued by all banks for use at the 800,000 POS terminals in Germany.
Merchant acceptance of mobile payment also manifests itself in the number of payment terminals at the POS and their performance. Near-field communication (NFC) is a key technology for mobile payment. Approximately 80,000 terminals were NFC ready at the end of 2015, which corresponds to about 10% of all terminals in Germany. The number of NFC-ready cashiers is growing.
However, for mass adoption of mobile payment, 10% is too little. To further increase NFC penetration, merchants that accept certain credit cards are required to have terminals using NFC technology by 2020. This requirement can help promote mobile payment usage in Germany, but NFC is no standard for in-store payments. Other technologies available for consumers include, for example, QR codes, Infrared (IR) or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).