Debit cards are an integral part of daily payment transactions. Find all important information about them here.
The Electronic Cash payment system, known as E-Cash or EC, is a debit card system for cashless payment. It is operated by the German banking industry (deutsche Kreditwirtschaft, DK), the advocacy group of the major banking associations. Cards that have the "Electronic Cash" logo are always issued by credit institutions only. E-Cash is a PIN-based debit procedure, which the cardholder enters at an EFT-POS terminal (Electronic Funds Transfer Terminal). Transactions made with the debit cards are charged to the cardholder's checking account as soon as they are submitted by the merchant. E-Cash is one of the fastest payment systems. For this reason, it is rapidly gaining popularity among customers and dealers.
By entering the PIN number at the electronic cash terminals, the cardholder can pay cashless with an e-cash card. The payment with E-Cash is particularly safe - impending payment defaults and return debit due to a lack of account coverage of the buyer can be excluded. Paying with E-Cash is possible at the cash register and at automatized terminals, such as a ticket vending machine, which offers numerous opportunities for merchants.
The acquisition and operation of a e-cash terminal is subject to authorization by the German banking industry. Operators must meet the required technical basis. The technical criteria are described in the technical annex of the network operator licensing contract, which is set up by the German banking industry.
All EC cards are equipped with a magnetic strip on which static information is stored. Since 2000, many banking institutions have begun to equip their customers' cards with an additional chip. This has the functionality of a small computer and brings advantages over the usual magnetic stripe with it. For example, its contents can neither be read out completely nor copied. Despite the advantages of the chip, magnetic stripes on debit cards remain in place to ensure their compatibility with Maestro terminals. In the case of the e-cash process, however, the secure chip has been mandatory since 2011.
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