Payment as a central economic factor in Austria

Austria is still in the middle of innovative payment systems. […]

In Austria, the mobile phone was identified as the preferred tool for the use of SEPA real-time transfer. (c) Unsplash

Payment is a central element for every economy – one of the most common processes that all Austrians carry out several times a day. The payment behavior of consumers is constantly changing, while Europe is overshadowed by the large payment schemes from America or Asia in these developments. Is collaboration a way out of the crisis? What opportunities arise from the EU’s payment strategy? And what do new trends such as alternative payments, value-added services or sustainability in shopping look like for Austria? The P19 Payment Pioneers, together with Birgit Kraft-Kinz, Head of the study and Managing Director of KRAFTKINZ GmbH, asked themselves these questions in the present study: “The progressive digitization, not least due to the COVID19 pandemic, is pushing payment into the digital world. This requires close collaboration between different stakeholders and makes our payment pioneers key figures.“

“Collaboration is clearly the engine of innovation. Therefore, close cooperation of all stakeholders is needed to make future-oriented European developments in the payments area possible,“ says Christian Bruck, Partner BearingPoint Austria and expert for instant payments. “As an example, we are creating a new digital process that allows for optimal transparency, minimization of incoming payment processing costs and acceleration of account-to-account payments through simple integration into online banking. This means that you no longer have paper invoices and a fully integrated and digitized invoice receipt and payment process with high convenience and, in addition, a sustainable reduction of the CO2 footprint by two thirds.“

European Payment Scheme as part of the EU strategy.

Five stakeholder groups were defined and surveyed as part of the P19 study. Since 2018, the opinion of experts from banks, trade, regulators and start-ups on the assessment of where Austria is in the field of innovative payment systems has changed little. The vast majority of respondents (79.2%) will rank Austria in the mid-range of innovative payment systems in 2021 as well. The relevance of getting to the top of innovative payment systems is highly assessed: with an approval of 79.2%, the respondents consider this endeavor to be an important one. “The catch-up has begun and we have to lay the foundation for innovations through collaboration and exchange,” says PF19 initiator Martin Sprengseis-Kogler, Managing Partner of bluesource, a company that builds innovative solutions in the payment area. The relevance of a separate “European payment scheme” is rated as equally relevant with 77.8% approval.

BearingPoint study: Instant payment is cheaper and more frequently used for customers in Austria than in Germany

At the same time as P19, BearingPoint examined real-time transfers and instant payment in Austria and Germany as part of a representative end customer study SEPA. It is noteworthy that SEPA real-time transfer is used more often in Austria than in Germany. In addition, in Austria, the mobile phone with the offered mobile banking apps was identified as the preferred tool for using SEPA real-time transfer, while in Germany, the PC / laptop and the offered Internet or online banking are primarily used here. Christian Bruck, Partner at BearingPoint Austria: “The usage rate of instant payment is clearly higher in Austria than in Germany. The majority of Austrians can imagine that SEPA real-time bank transfers will replace the standard bank transfer in the next few years. The Austrians are more open to incentives by means of discounts or shorter delivery times as a motivation for using SEPA real-time transfer than the respondents in Germany.” Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich was the pilot in Austria for the introduction of instant payment. “Our top priority is our customer orientation – we inspire our customers with needs-oriented, innovative solutions,” says Johannes Weinzierl, Product and Portfolio Management at RLB Upper Austria.

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