Big cities are expanding digital payment offerings for municipal services

(Berlin) – Whether it’s the civil registry office, the city zoo or the fine office: German cities are increasingly relying on electronic payment. The percentage of large cities using electronic payment methods for administrative services rose to 80% in 2021. This is 8 percentage points higher than the previous year. This is the result of a special evaluation of the Smart City Index, the digital ranking of 81 German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants by the digital association Bitkom. On average, 2.2 electronic payment providers are available to pay for administrative services. The most popular is Giropay (83%), followed by Visa and Mastercard (71%), PayPal (63%) and Paydirekt (52%). Without exception, all cities offer card payment at the Citizens’ Registration Office, but are limited to paying with an EC card. Credit cards are accepted in every fifth city (19%). 6% offer mobile payments via Apple Pay or Google Pay. Tickets for local public transport can be paid for by card at ticket machines in three quarters (75%) of all major cities. 97% accept debit cards, 67% credit cards and 5% mobile payments. When it comes to paying fines, electronic payment methods still can’t get the majority. Every third major city (33%) allows you to pay fines with Giropay, 26% accept credit cards, 15% Paydirekt and 11% PayPal. The leaders in payment services are Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia and Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg. Both cities offer digital payment methods in ten of the 18 areas surveyed, including the Citizen Registration Office, the zoo and online citizen services. This is followed by Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Kassel and Mannheim, each with nine of these services. “Digital payment solutions are not just a service to pay for administrative services quickly and easily. They also help administrations and municipal companies to process their payment transactions more efficiently and save costs,” he says. Bitkom president Achim Berg. Furthermore, using multimodal mobility apps with integrated payment functions, local public transport, car sharing and other mobility offers can be centrally grouped and booked. Traffic data can be used to better manage traffic flows and alert users about alternative routes and mobility solutions. There are also opportunities in the fields of education, culture and tourism. Further information and practical examples can be found in the Bitkom summary document “Digital payments in Smart City and Smart Region”.

Study report with special evaluation for download

The study report with a complete and unedited special assessment for all categories and use cases for digital cities is available at .22_Studie_Smart_City_Index.pdf.

11,000 data points for 81 cities

Bitkom Research experts recorded, verified and qualified a total of approximately 11,000 data points for the Smart City Index. All 81 cities with at least 100,000 inhabitants were analyzed and assessed in the five thematic areas of administration, information technology and communication, energy and environment, mobility and society. The five areas are divided into 36 indicators, which in turn consist of a total of 133 parameters: from online citizen services to sharing offers for mobility and from smart garbage cans to broadband availability. Prior to publication, cities were given the opportunity to verify and integrate the data. 79 percent of cities made use of this option. The Smart City Index is supported by Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft and Visa.

Source and contact address:
Bitkom eV Bastian Pauly, spokesperson Albrechtstr. 10, 10117 Berlin Phone: (030) 27576-0, Fax: (030) 27576-400


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