EC cards to be issued from July 2023 will have to do without the Maestro function.
When payment service provider Mastercard announced last fall that it would discontinue Maestro by July 2023, some already considered it “Off for an EC card“.
However, the Federal Association of German Banks then said: The EC cards – called giro cards since 2007 – will in no way be cancelled. Instead, there should be new functions that allow payment in online retail, for example.
There are no gyro cards with Maestro functionality as of July 2023
However, this requires change. And while some banks are already making good progress on this, others are now getting a hold of it after all. This was reported through the online portal t3n.de.
The Maestro function had previously ensured that Germans could also pay abroad with a Girocard. Since Maestro was not compatible with many Internet portals, the system operator Mastercard decided to cancel it.
The schedule for this was previously as follows: From July 2023, no more giro cards with Maestro function should be issued. Cards already in circulation – about 100 million in Germany alone – must remain fully functional until the end of their term. And because giro cards are usually valid for four years, cards with the Maestro function would have finally made a date in the summer of 2027, hna.de reports.
Banks get more time
In fact, it will probably take a little longer before Maestro functionality is completely gone. Because like that Handelsblatt MasterCard is reportedly giving some banks a delay in making the necessary change.
“In the event of technical challenges, we work with our partners to find migration plans that can also include transition periods,” says the financial service provider. At Frankfurter Volksbank, cards with the Maestro function will probably remain in use until the end of 2027, at GLS-Bank the issuance of cards should not be stopped until July 2023, but only in October.
With the Maestro card gone, most banks are moving to Mastercard’s “Mastercard” debit card feature, or Visa’s equivalent. This means that giro cards can also be used abroad in the future – and provide additional options for online shopping, for example.
Savings banks: 60% chose Girocard with Mastercard
Especially far from noisy with change Handelsblatt savings banks. Sparkasse Siegen has been using the “Mastercard” function for two years now, and all 170,000 giro cards in circulation are now equipped with it. In contrast, Sparkasse Niederbayern-Mitte has been using the Visa system since the beginning of December, and a total of 110,000 cards are gradually being replaced here.
According to the savings bank’s payment service provider S-Payment, about 60 percent of savings banks have chosen Girocard with Mastercard, and 40 percent will work with Visa in the future.
And in fact, some banks don’t have to deal with an asymmetric change at all right now: There are currently no plans to eliminate V-Pay, Visa’s counterpart to Mastercard’s Maestro functionality.
The system is used, for example, by Berliner Sparkasse – Germany’s second largest savings bank. And for now, nothing will change for the 60 percent of giro cards from Volks – und Raiffeisenbanken that work with V-Pay. (jfw)
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