Sparkasse introduces mobile payment

Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Date: 01.08.2018

Android users can pay by smartphone

The Sparkasse has now published their mobile payment app. From now on customers can pay via android app in stores. After Google Pay started five weeks ago, now more than 300 Sparkassen in Germany offer the smartphone payment system. “Sparkassen are thus expanding the range of secure payment options” said Helmut Schleweis, President of the German Sparkassen and Giro Association in Berlin. By the end of the year, all 390 Sparkassen shall introduce the payment system.

How does the payment work?

If customers want to pay via app, they just have to hold the smartphone next to the card terminal at the cash register in the store. For this the device has to accept contactless payment via NFC radio, so therefore many card terminals have already been upgraded. The smartphone must have an android OS version 5.0. The payments are debited from the current account like a card payment or charge the credit card.

The mobile service of the Sparkasse can be used from customers over 18. In addition, online banking must be set and the mobile payment app has to be downloaded in the smartphone from the Google Play Store. In the app a girocard as well as a MasterCard can be chosen as payment option. With the MasterCard you can also pay via app abroad. Visa will also be available soon according to a spokesman of the German Sparkassen and Giro Association. The costs for mobile payment vary from Sparkasse to Sparkasse. If debits on the current account are basically chargeable, then this applies also to the payments via smartphone.

Aspects of security

Customers can individually choose in the app, whether the phone needs to be unlocked, the app has to be started or if it is sufficient if the screen is active. From a value of 25 euros a PIN must be entered at the terminal, underneath this is usually not necessary.

According to the German Sparkassen and Giro Association, the data at the Sparkasse are still secured and will not be passed or sold to third parties. Furthermore, attention is paid to “the high security standards of the German banking industry for card payments in terms of data protection, transaction security and protection against abuse.”

Apple smartphones are not compatible

IPhone users can not yet use the mobile payment because Apple has not yet released the required interface in the device. There had been a lot of rumors around the own service from Apple, Apple Pay, but there have been no developments in this regard.

Mobile payment in Germany

In addition to the Sparkasse, Deutsche Bank and Postbank already offer their customers mobile payment. About 85 percent of the Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks also want to introduce payment via smartphone now.

The payment via smartphone has not quite arrived in Germany. Last year, only 7 percent of consumers paid with their mobile phone at least once, according to a survey by the Bundesbank. The most common reason for non-use was the lack of need, followed by safety concerns.