Giropay is an Internet payment System in Germany, based on online banking. Introduced in February 2006, this payment method allows customers to buy securely on the Internet using direct online transfers from their bank account. The system is similar to the Dutch iDEAL payment system, the Interac Online service in Canada, pagomiscuentas payment service in Argentina, and Secure Vault payments in the United States. Giropay is owned by giropay GmbH.
By May 2007 more than 100 million euro in purchases had been made.
In 2008, the system processed 3.2 million transfers, with the transactions made totalling 185 million Euros.
Over one million such transactions are processed every month.
Most German Sparkassen and cooperative banks are participating in Giropay. However, the number of participating banks from the private sector is limited. In this sector, the only major participating bank is Deutsche Postbank. Nevertheless, Giropay has a reach of about 17 million German online banking customers, and about 60% of all commercial bank accounts. That number means the participating banks are serving the vast majority of the German online banking market.
Giropay offers merchants a real-time payment method (publicized as virtually risk-free) to accept internet payments. For customers, Giropay uses the same environment as their banks' online banking sites. The level of security depends on the participating bank. Some German Banks offer two-factor authentication (2FA), such as a challenge-response access token based on the chip embedded in the debit card or ATM card. Others, however, offer simpler PIN and TAN based online banking services. No sensitive information is being shared with the merchant, such as credit card or Giro account numbers. There is no chargeback right however, which can be considered a disadvantage for the consumer using this payment method. This is considered an advantage to the merchants.
Giropay works as follows:
- Merchant offers Giropay as payment method, often in addition to the regular credit card payment options
- Consumer selects Giropay and selects his bank
- Consumer is redirected to his bank's login page
- Participating bank displays transaction data
- Customer enters account number, PIN, and either:
- Bank authorizes transaction in real-time, deducting the amount directly from the consumer's account (if there is not enough balance, the transaction will be refused)
- Merchant received real-time confirmation of the payment by the bank
- Consumer is redirected back to the merchant page with a confirmation that the payment has been successful
Payments are guaranteed for amounts up to 5000 euros.
- Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren, a German direct debit system
- Directebanking.com, a similar German online payment system "with European aspirations"