As the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) reports, there are some problems with the new debit cards from Mastercard and Visa, which many banks have introduced as part of the new standard product, such as with acceptance.
“Consumers have reported a variety of issues to us”, says Ramona Pop, board member at vzbv. “The new debit cards were sometimes not accepted, especially in shops within Germany, in hotels, abroad or to receive cash at the checkout.”
In addition, acceptance problems with authorities, in clinics, online trade or, for example, the TÜV were described. Consumers also complain about the missing functionalities such as age verification or the possibility of using the ChipTAN procedure. In some cases, customers with the appropriate cards cannot even open the doors to the self-service areas of the banks.
After a consumer appeal, 1,745 problem descriptions were received from debit card holders. So the prospects for debit cards are not good, even though banks recently introduced payment cards as a standard product for accounts.
vzbv criticizes transparency
The vzbv primarily criticizes the inadequate communication between banks and customers. Here, the range of functions is not communicated transparently enough to consumers. Consumers often assume that the card is equivalent to a Girocard. Banks also market the image that the debit card is a hybrid of a giro card and a credit card. This is where false expectations arise, which debit cards cannot meet.
In an online form, vzbv called for problems with payment cards to be reported. 94 percent of the problems revolved around the new debit cards (1745 of a total of 1853 reports). The most frequent complaints were with Deutsche Kreditbank (53 percent), Santander Bank (19 percent), Targobank (8 percent), ING (7 percent) and comdirect (7 percent).
Consumer advocates call for the introduction of the digital euro
The vzbv takes the acceptance problems with the new debit cards as an opportunity to call for the introduction of the digital euro. “To give consumers independent and reliable access to digital payment transactions,” as the consumer advocates explain. In a statement, Ramona Pop explains: “The card chaos makes it clear that consumers end up being harmed if we make ourselves dependent on a few commercial providers when paying.” It is therefore time for a European solution. According to Pop, the digital euro would make it possible to pay almost anywhere in the euro area.