girocard is the most common debit card in Germany. Thereby, girocard cardholders are able to withdraw cash at more than 60.000 ATMs in Germany and to pay cashless at the point of sale (POS).
Maximum security is guaranteed via secure Chip and PIN procedure: All transactions in Germany are processed by the secure EMV chip, instead of a magnetic stripe, which is vulnerable to skimming. Beyond that, the PIN ensures that only the legal owner can use the girocard. Furthermore, girocard is a product of the German Banking Industry Commitee (GBIC) and thus uses the high security standards of the GBIC.
Apart from withdrawing cash and paying at a POS, the girocard offers a lot of practical features:
Most girocards are equipped with a Co-Brand (Maestro / VPay / JCB) to secure international acceptance. This allows girocard cardholders to pay electronically and withdraw cash in foreign countries, even if the girocard itself is not accepted.
Many issued girocards are equipped with the prepaid functions GeldKarte (contact-based) or girogo (contactless). In order to use GeldKarte and girogo, the prepaid chip on the card can be loaded with up to 200 euros. After having charged the prepaid chip at your banks ATM or online, the prepaid function can be used at more than 420,000 GeldKarte points of acceptance in Germany, for example for parking tickets or in public transport. Just insert your girocard into a card slot and confirm the payment. No further authentication – such as entering your PIN or signing the bill – is needed.
If a card has the girogo logo, it can additionally be used for contactless payments up to 25 euros at more than 19,000 points of acceptance in Germany, such as supermarkets or retailers. Just hold your card very closely at the terminal and your payment is completed. The girogo shop finder shows, where you can use girogo in your region.
Using your girocard and a chip-TAN generator, you can conveniently manage your finances.
Social subsidisations and transfer payments can be granted anonymously with girocard.
Instead of using printed tickets you can save electronic tickets for public transport, parking, events etc. on the girocard.
Your own signature can be saved electronically on the girocard, which enables you to authenticate yourself, e.g. in matters of e-government.
Identifying employees, limiting entrance to certain areas and recording working time is also possible with girocard.
Storing and redeeming bonus points with girocard is possible in some city-card-programmes