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February 8th, 2013, 06:58
The availability of credit cards in Europe is no issue. It's just as easy as in the US to obtain a card.
The issue is the people. Germans are especially conservative. Paying with a plastic card instead of cash at retail is still being regarded as voodoo magic by many. And then paying with a plastic card on the even more magical interwebz is teh crazzzeeehhh .
Seriously though, people here are extremely suspicious of anything non-tangible. It also took ages before online banking became somewhat popular and there are still many who won't do it for fear of hacks.
Also, girocards are so popular over here that many don't see the need for an additional cash-free payment solution. Especially not one that costs an annual fee. Girocards are issued free by our banks. Credit cards require a fee.

Personally, I'm a little more "daring" than my countrymen. I got both, a girocard and a Master Card (fee is €30 per year here) and I use it plenty for web purchases and Steam and generally as often as possible basically since I like the whole buy now, pay later thing. Also don't have an issue with online banking. Should be safe enough these days.
In the end my reasoning is that there are literally billions of credit card and online banking transactions on the net each and every day and billions of credit card data is stored all across the globe. The chance of a hack affecting me directly (as long as I handle my credit card data responsibly and keep my PC well maintained) is more than slim… hopefully .
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