Acceptance problem burdens new debit cards

September 4, 2023

The new Visa and Mastercard debit cards have an acceptance problem. According to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) (, 1,745 problem reports have been received from debit card holders following a consumer appeal. Banks have recently introduced the payment card as a standard product with the account.

Missing functionalitiy

“Especially in shops within Germany, in hotels, abroad or to get cash at the cash desk, the new debit cards were sometimes not accepted”, vzbv executive Ramona Pop describes the problems.

There were also problems with acceptance at authorities, in clinics, in online trade or at the TÜV. In addition, customers complained about missing functionalities such as age verification, the possibility to use the ChipTAN procedure or the option to open doors to self-service areas at banks.

Flowery promises

According to the vzbv, the problems described are partly due to poor or insufficient information provided by the issuing banks. This leads to customers expecting services from their cards that the cards do not provide at all.

In 29 percent of the reports received, the participants in the consumer call had no other card available besides the defective debit card. “In these cases, consumers are dependent on taking cash with them in order to have a safe and practical means of payment in case of doubt,” concludes Pop.

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