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girocard
Girocard.svg
Operating area Germany
Members 2.000
ATMs 54.000

Girocard is an interbank network and debit card service connecting virtually all German ATMs and banks. It is based on standards and agreements developed by Zentraler Kreditausschuss.

Contents

History

Originally, German banks formed an interbank network connecting virtually all German ATMs. The network used Eurocheque guarantee cards as ATM cards and did not have a name or trademark of its own. In 1991, the electronic cash debit card service was introduced using the same cards. The cards used for all three payment methods were simply known as Eurocheque card (German Euroscheck-Karte).

When the Eurocheque system was disbanded at the end of 2001, the cards could no longer use the Eurocheque brand. However, German bank continued to use the EC logo, which was simply re-interpreted as "electronic cash". Consequently, the cards were colloquially known as EC card (German EC-Karte). However, the ATM network still did not have a trade name.

In 2007, Zentraler Kreditausschuss introduced Girocard as a common name for electronic cash and the German ATM network.

Services

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ATM network

The German ATM network connects virtually all German ATMs. However, German banks charge high ATM usage fees (up to 10 ) from customers using other banks' ATMs.

There are several cooperations reducing or waiving these fees:

  • Sparkassen (public banks) waive the fees for customers of other local branches, although they are legally separate institutes, usually owned by the city or district.
  • Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (co-operative banks) waive or reduce the fees for other co-operative banks.
  • Cash Group is a cooperation of major private banks, which mutually waive the fees.
  • CashPool is a cooperation of smaller private banks (including many virtual banks), which mutually waive the fees.

External links


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