Unterföhring (dpa) - The Alliance is entering a highly competitive area: Europe's largest insurer is launching its own mobile app for mobile payment in Germany.

"This is a chance for us to be more present in the daily lives of our customers," said Bernd Heinemann, board member of Allianz Germany, on Tuesday. The company is also targeting consumers who are not insurance customers.

To make the app more attractive, however, the insurance is included: "We have the payment function associated with the protection of bank data and the online buyer protection," said Heinemann. The available since Tuesday version for Apple phones will follow in about a month and an Android App.

Allianz has developed the app in cooperation with credit card issuer Visa and payment service provider Wirecard, and has been testing it since the beginning of 2018 in Italy. Other countries could follow.

"We expect that the payment by mobile phone will increase," said Heinemann. According to a study published by the consulting firm PwC in March, about a quarter of German consumers used mobile payment methods last year. There were already more than half in the Netherlands.

Whether the alliance will be able to use its status as an insurance in competition, will show: According to PwC the fear of hacker attacks is an obstacle to the acceptance of the technology. Security concerns are therefore particularly widespread in the German-speaking countries. PwC had interviewed 5500 consumers in six countries for the investigation.

Germany is still regarded by many as a developing country for mobile payment, but by 2018, a great deal of movement has come into the business. The "mobile payment" market is filling up noticeably: Apple Pay and Google Pay are now available in the Federal Republic, banks and savings banks are naturally involved, and Wirecard is involved several times: The Dax Group cooperates on the one hand with Apple, Google, Visa , the alliance and other corporations, and is simultaneously on the market with its own app "Boon".

The real industry giants, however, are in China, where the competing pay apps Alipay and Wechat are each used by several hundred million people. The Chinese apps also work in thousands of European stores - including the roller coaster "Wild Mouse" at the Munich Oktoberfest - but can only be used by people with a Chinese bank account.

PwC study Mobile Payment Report 2019