Payment on the Internet: “Immediate payment” is not permitted as sole payment

Judgment Court © Gina Sanders - Fotolia.comPayment on the Internet – The Federal Court of Justice has decided that “Immediate transfer” may not be the only free means of payment for online transactions. In the present case, the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband had brought an action against DB Vertrieb GmbH.

Pay on the Internet

The travel platform start.de operated by DB Vertrieb GmbH offered their customers tickets, travel and other similar offers at different prices. Free of charge could be paid by direct transfer or paid by credit card. The use of a credit card cost however at a travel price of 120.06 euro sute 12.90 euros fees.

The Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband has opposed this practice. In the eyes of the consumer protectionists, the offer of the service “Immediate transfer” as the only free payment was inadmissible. The option requires customers to specify their account data, including PIN and TAN. Immediate AG, which is behind “Sofortüberweisung”, has, among other things, access to the account as well as the disposition and can determine whether the customer has other accounts.

BGH confirms view of vzbv

The Federal Court of Justice approved the vzbv under the file number KZR 39/16 and forbade DB Vertrieb GmbH to offer “immediate transfer” as the only free payment option. “The ruling strengthens the rights of consumers to pay on the Internet. The only free way to pay is not to force consumers to violate their bank’s ban on transferring sensitive data to an external service provider, “explains Kerstin Hoppe, lawyer at vzbv. “With this free offer, start.de pushed consumers into a liability risk.”

Although “immediate transfer” is permissible as a business model and may continue to be offered by DB Vertrieb GmbH as a means of payment, customers must also have other free payment options available.

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