Next year, the blue and red Maestro logo will disappear from EC cards from July.
Some savings banks have already started issuing new Girocards.
Munich – Around 100 million Girocards are used in Germany, making it by far the most used bank card.
There will be a big change for its users in the coming year: the blue and red Maestro logo will disappear from the Girocard from July 2023.
So far, the savings banks have been the quickest of the German credit institutions to make the switch.
Maestro-Aus: Girocard should get new functions
The new Girocard will be equipped with Mastercard or Visa instead of Maestro and will have additional online functions.
“The termination of the Maestro function may have given the public the wrong feeling that the Girocard can no longer be used as before.
But the opposite is the case," said the deputy chief executive of the Association of German Banks (BdB), Henriette Peucker, of the German Press Agency in Frankfurt.
"We want to make the Girocard even more usable with new functions in online trading and in the digital world," announced Peucker on behalf of the German banking industry (DK).
This year, the BdB is the leader of this umbrella organization of the five major banking associations in Germany.
"For example, it is about the possibility of making a deposit, for example when reserving a hotel room or a rental car," said Peucker, explaining the plans to expand the Girocard functions.
"And also about consistently bringing the Girocard to the smartphone and opening it up for in-app payments."
Peucker left open exactly when the new functions will come: "It's not yet the moment to give a firm schedule.
The preparations are ongoing."
Savings banks have already started the changeover
The first savings banks have already completed the conversion: According to the
, Sparkasse Siegen has already equipped all 170,000 Girocards in circulation with the Mastercard function.
The Sparkasse Niederbayern-Mitte started exchanging 110,000 EC cards in December.
Unlike the Sparkasse Siegen, however, it relies on Visa, the newspaper reports.
Around 60 percent of the savings banks would have opted for a Girocard with Mastercard, the rest for Visa.
Changes are also to be made from the central side in the coming year: According to the Handelsblatt
, S-Payment, a payment service provider for the savings banks, is planning
a “central changeover date” to Mastercard and Visa for new and replacement cards at the end of the first half of 2023.
Then it's the turn of the existing customers.
The Kreissparkasse Köln, for example, is planning to issue the new Girocard in new business from June 2023.
"The exchange of cards in existing business is planned from October 2023," the newspaper quoted the bank as saying.
Girocard: Will the additional functions cost anything?
Should consumers expect that the additional functions of the Girocard will cost them something?
"Each institute decides for itself on its product and pricing policy," Peucker replied, and at the same time said: "Payment functions are in competition, there are alternatives for customers.
Everyone is aware of that.”
With material from the dpa
With material from the dpa
List of rubrics: © Fabian Sommer/dpa