"bio" digital payments

Bitte antworten Sie auch in Deutsch… even if my post is in English.

In another discussion, a community member talked about their local bio-laden not wanting to take those „Boese Kreditkarten“. I know, those yukky credit card things…

In this community, you guys cycle to work, eat vegetarian, shop local and do all those things we should. You don’t fly so often, and bank with a bank that has a strong sustainability policy. Still you need to use a „Visa“ card, and behind the scenes, typically American corporations, and institutional shareholders benefit from you buying that bag of organic carrots.

I’m going to ignore „cross border“ for a moment, although the Euro and SEPA does mean that 18 countries are technically in the same virtual country from a payments perspective.

How can we easily transact with each other - exchange money - in a way that is simple, secure and „bio“. Let’s ignore the technology for a moment (even if that’s my favourite part).

Let’s talk about how we might get small shops and market traders accepting a form of digital payment, and as many members of the local community making such payments? (I’ll introduce one buzz work, P2P - person 2 person).

In other countries, there are various local P2P schemes - Swish in Sweden, Viips in Norway, and in Asia, you have WeChat-Pay and others. Venmo in the US. mPesa in Southern Africa across a number of countries.

Some key features might be…

  • Tied to bank accounts directly - enable P2P
  • Owned, managed inside Germany - make GDPR easier
  • Very low cost - to „send“ (free) or „receive“ (<5c per transaction)
  • Real-time - get paid now
  • Sustainable ethic - CO2 offsets, zero carbon to transact
  • Secure/reliable - all the good stuff
  • Super easy UX - this is so very important, secure yet easy to use

There’s a bundle of legal, regulatory and compliance issues around such an initiative, yet it might be a thing.

What do you think?

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Two thoughts:

Sparkasse / VR-Bank developed a P2P standard that’s open for other banks. I believe P2P payments are a commodity, not a business model. Cringle and Wavy (part of Klarna) failed with this. Interoperability should be one of the main goals.

Ideally on an international scale. Unfortunately, banks do not seem to be interested in initiatives like this: https://www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu/what-we-do/sepa-goes-mobile/mobile-p2p-payments

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What I can imagine is a solution similar to SOFORT. In my example Tomorrow offers a similar service.
A business owner registers via an app at, let’s call it, Tomorrow Pay. This is not a bank account but simply an additional service of Tomorrow. In the app the owner stores his normal bank data (can be from any SEPA bank). As soon as a Tomorrow user wants to pay, the owner can use the app to generate a QR code with the payment request, which the buyer scans and confirms. In the seller’s app, the whole thing is also confirmed. In the background Tomorrow executes a normal bank transfer to the seller’s account data (as said before, actually the same as with SOFORT).
The problem is of course that the user has to be a customer of Tomorrow, which of course limits the number of users. Actually it would need a Germany-wide initiative that would oblige banks to use an open and for everyone available interface (I think it simply fails because of the slow development of traditional banks).

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This obligation for an open interface in Germany (and Europe) already exists. What you just described as „similar“ to Sofort is the prototypical use case for payment initiation under PSD2 rules.

Yes, PSD2 has driven the need for all banks in Europe to offer an Open Banking API, and with that you can have „transaction/payment initiation“. That is a „push“ transaction from one party to another. Sofort is one of the very early systems that uses that process (actually predates PSD2 by quite a bit), and did the push by screen scraping your online banking UI. Still SEPA transactions are not very quick - from Sparkasse to Solaris takes about 36 hours. From AIB (Ireland) to Sparkasse can be as short as 6 hours.

In my introduction I mentioned „real-time“, and low cost. These are important features, and driven by the technology somewhat. Usability is very important to me - hence QR codes (like Swish) and connection by shorter identities (mobile phone numbers and/or Swish like identities) are important.

A transaction initiator (Sofort) under PSD2 does require to be regulated by BaFin. It’s not too onerous, as you’re not holding the money.

An activity like PayPal, where you hold the money requires almost a full banking licence. I kind of think that holding the money makes it easier to show real-time transfer, with SEPA transfers following slowly in the background.

I think we could get the technology (and regulation) to work. That’s less of a problem.

How do you persuade 10,000,000 citizens to participate in this scheme, and use it weekly? You don’t need this number on day #1, but within 2-3 years, you’d want a consistent and regular user base.

Tomorrow or Solaris could provide a transaction hub that allows the other APIs and interfaces to be integrated, and do the kind of things that the EPC talk about in Frnk’s link.

Technology is „easy“, it’s the „adoption“ that is hard.

I still don’t see why more infrastructure is necessary. Kwitt, the Sparkasse P2P, is based on instant SEPA transfers.

Interoperability is key. If Solarisbank would adopt Kwitt for P2P, the user base might be large enough to get it going. I don’t think building another platform without interoperability from the very beginning is going to work.

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I think proprietary solutions as Kwitt or Paypal are not ideal, as they create a dependency to a single organization, which can change it’s business objective or raise fees over time. True interoperatibility would go on line with an open system such as SEPA Instant Transfers, as you mention. This would require everyone to perform intuitive instant SEPA transfers from the mobile device - something which not every bank offers (QR code, easy TAN method).

Another approach is the new Deutsche Kreditindustrie solution „X“, which will unite Paydirekt and Giropay. Hopefully it will be a true Paypal compentitor, similar to the Swedish solution Swish and come with lower fees then Credit Cards (such as Girocard or even lower). But for German/EU companies it was always hard to agree on common standards.

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Just as a small hint for interested people:

GNU Taler

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How „proprietary“ is Kwitt when the Kartellamt told Sparkasse and VR-Banken to allow access for all banks that are interested? It’s basically a SEPA instant credit transfer, with a cellphone number lookup service. It’s super low tech.

Interoperability is so limited, because banks aren’t interested in this. And the compelling thing about the concept described here is that all the parts are already here: most neobanks already offer instant P2P transfers based on phone numbers / usernames on their platform (Revolut, Sparkasse, VR-Banken, N26 … ), the settlement is either proprietary or SCT Inst, and the only part that is missing is a lookup service that would connect them.

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Soll ich das nächste Thema in japanisch eröffnen? Versucht wenigstens den Großteil auf Deutsch zu schreiben.

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Japanisch wär doch mal was! Da gibts so viel Interpretationsspielraum für Übersetzungsdienste! :rofl:

Wo ist das Problem? Es gibt ja anscheinend genug Leute die hier gerne auch in Englisch schreiben.

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Das Problem ist einfach, dass das hier eine deutschsprachige Community ist…

Ich persönlich habe kein Problem mit Englisch, ich empfinde es nur als sehr unhöflich den Leuten gegenüber, die vielleicht nicht so gut diese Sprache können und sich auch an dem Gespräch beteiligen möchten.

Bitte beim Thema bleiben. Ich spreche die Sache mit Deutsch vs. Englisch mal bei den Moderatoren an, wie wir uns da aufstellen wollen.

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Ich finde es diskriminierend, wenn jemand hauptsächlich englisch spricht und sich Leute darüber beschweren, wenn die Leute dann englisch schreiben…

Bitte lasst es doch einfach zu wenn der thread Ersteller englisch schreibt.

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Was ist daran diskriminierend? :thinking:

Wie ich eben schon sagte. Der Thread bleibt zu, bis das Sprachenthema geklärt ist.