Girocard in future without Maestro

Released on 21.10. 2021

  • In the future, the Maestro logo will no longer appear on the Girocard. Photo: Fabian Sommer

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The days of the red and blue Maestro logo on the Girocard are numbered. It stands for the possibility of paying and withdrawing cash with the popular card abroad. However, alternatives are available.

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – Consumers have to be prepared for changes when withdrawing money or paying with the Girocard abroad.

From July 1st 2023 According to a decision by the US card giant Mastercard, Maestro-enabled giro cards that allow the use of the popular payment card outside of Germany may no longer be issued. The German credit industry emphasizes that banks and savings banks can guarantee that their customers can continue to use the Girocard abroad even after the Maestro system is discontinued.

Banks themselves decide on alternative

Which international payment card products are used instead of Maestro would be decided by the respective banks and savings banks. The red-blue logo has been emblazoned on a large part of the approximately 31 million girocards in Germany for years. This should be over now. It cannot be ruled out that Visa will follow suit with its VPay.

«If Maestro is no longer available, Girocard will likely come under pressure. The US companies Mastercard and Visa are currently pushing their own payment card systems (debit cards), ”said Claudio Zeitz-Brandmeyer from the Federation of German Consumer Organizations on Thursday. “With its decision, Mastercard is increasing the pressure on individual institutions to use its debit card.” For consumers, the acceptance of new card systems in retail and the success of European solutions such as the European Payment Initiative will be decisive.

Use until the end of the term

Consumers can use their Girocard with the Maestro symbol until the end of the term – at the latest until 31. December 2027 – continue to use without any problems, as the Federal Association of German Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken (BVR) explains. Consumers who regularly received a new card after the expiry of the validity date would only see a different acceptance symbol instead of Maestro or when shopping at the cash register in the same way as you are used to today, ”emphasizes the BVR. For several months now, the cooperative banking group has been examining options for designing the co-badging for the Girocard. Co-badging is the application of several payment methods on one bank card.

The Savings Banks and Giro Association points out that with the combination of the debit payment method Girocard and Debit Mastercard (DMC) already one new generation of the Sparkassen-Card had been created. This is available to the financial group’s institutions as a possible successor product.

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