The Girocard is to be modernized and given new functions.
Everything consumers need to know about the changes to EC cards at a glance.
Kassel – After it became known that there will no longer be any Giro cards with a Maestro function, there is now positive news for all Giro card users.
The EC card, which has been officially called the Girocard since 2008, will soon be given new functions, as
The Girocard is the most used cashless payment method in Germany - and it will probably stay that way for the time being.
According to a survey by
on behalf of Euro Kartensysteme, a joint venture of the German banks, 68 percent of those surveyed do not want to change anything when paying.
However, consumers who use the EC card regularly are now faced with a number of changes.
Payment systems that belong to the Girocard
"V-Pay" from the payment card provider Visa and "Maestro" from Mastercard
Girocard 4.0: EC card should get new functions
A “Girocard 4.0” is planned, as reported by the
The conversion should therefore take place gradually by 2026.
Overall, the "girocard system is to become significantly more efficient," says Oliver Hommel, CEO of Euro Kartensysteme, which is responsible for the new Girocard system.
Some of the new functions should be available in a first stage by the end of 2023: as part of the "Girocard 2.0".
Among other things, it should be possible to authorize payments before a transaction is finally completed.
This has advantages when reserving hotels or rental cars - the Girocard system wants to catch up with credit cards.
Girocard will gradually get new functions until 2026
By 2026, the former EC card should then become the Girocard 4.0.
PayPal could also compete with the Girocard system with the planned functions.
The following functions are to come:
In-app payments with the smartphone:
Paypal is the market leader here so far.
But the new Girocard should also have functions for in-app payments, such as those already used by apps such as DB Navigator, Free Now for calling a taxi, local transport apps and mobile games.
Hommel explains that new possible uses for retailer apps such as Lidl Plus, Edeka or Payback Pay could also play a role in the second stage.
Mobile phone wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay:
The possibility of integrating the Girocard into mobile phone wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay or the wallets of German banks is also to come.
Digital receipts and linking to loyalty systems:
New functions in the area of "payment-related value-added services" are to be defined in discussions with retailers.
Among other things, digital receipts could come as functions by the end of 2024 and a link to loyalty systems by 2026, reports Hommels.
Pre-authorization of payments:
This feature is expected to be available by the end of 2023.
The new EC card functions have met with a positive response from retailers.
Some of the functions would meet the "requirements of retail," says Ulrich Binnebössel, payment expert at the German Retail Association, of
Without modernization, there is a risk of a gradual loss of importance.
With the Sparkassen-Card, the Sparkasse is already using a new variant of the EC card.