After EC-Karte-Aus: The new card for Sparkasse customers

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Out: Helena Gries, Kilian Bäuml


The savings bank says goodbye to EC cards. The first customers are already receiving the new Sparkasse card. However, this does not only have advantages.

Update from Wednesday November 23, June 17: The first customers are already currently getting a refund for their previous EC card. Earlier than planned, the new Sparkassen-Card is flying into the house – and it brings with it some changes for Sparkasse customers.

The new debit card, which for the first time includes a 16-digit card number, an expiration date and a three-digit verification number for secure online shopping, is not expected to be distributed until early next year. According to media information, the first customers of Sparkasse have already received the new card. Unlike a credit card, payments made with the Sparkassen-Card are charged directly from the current account. According to the Hamburg Consumer Advisory Center, the new debit card is not always and not everywhere accepted as a full credit card replacement, although it is described as usable worldwide and online.

“Many merchants do not accept debit cards because their service provider (the merchant’s service provider through which the merchant processes their payments) charges high fees for debit card payments,” the consumer watchdog said. This also applies to online trading.

Off for EC card: What Sparkasse customers need to know now

First message from Monday, October 24, 2022: Kassel – Only recently did Sparkasse announce its plans to withdraw EC cards from circulation. So far, many Germans still use it – in 2021 it became loud Forbes Used as a means of payment 5.9 billion times. In some shops, the EC card is the only accepted method of non-cash payment. Sparkasse now reveals what the successor of the popular card looks like.

Theft in Passing
The EC card is on the verge of extinction at Sparkasse. (symbol image) © dpa

The EC card will be replaced by the new Sparkasse card. It should be more modern and have many functions that its predecessor did not have. This should primarily simplify cashless payments and online shopping.

Sparkasse says goodbye to EC cards and introduces the Sparkassen-Card

Sparkasse describes its new product on its website as a debit card. That’s why you can pay with it anywhere in the world. In addition, online payments should become more secure and there is a control of spending. In order to improve customer service, their phone number is placed directly on the money card.

Linked to a German current account Bank card from the American group
Use outside Germany only with Maestro or V-Pay the possibility of worldwide use
Source: Consumer Center

In addition, some new features have been added, which should also simplify cashless payments. For example, the card can be connected to a smartphone so that you can also pay via the app. Cash withdrawals should also be more convenient for customers in the future, as the new debit card can be used to withdraw money from all ATMs that accept Visa.

The main reason for the changes is primarily the international payment system. Until now, customers could use the EC card abroad because of the ongoing cooperation between German direct banks and the American provider Mastercard. However, Mastercard ended this partnership in 2021, leading to drastic changes in card usage.

After setting up the debit card – Sparkasse plans it

In Germany, more and more people pay by card. and German Bundesbank writes that the use of card payments increased by almost 25 percent in 2020, which is due to the impact of the pandemic.

The savings bank is not alone in its plan to expand cashless payment systems. Meanwhile, leading banks such as Deutsche Bank plan to stop issuing cash over the counter, even in some branches. In a survey by Handelsblatt However, most branches state that they will continue to accept deposits and withdrawals over the counter. Kreissparkasse from Cologne, for example, says: “In all 116 branches, customers can withdraw money from the till”. (Kilian Baeuml)

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