German banks move to Federal Court

Frankfurt The dispute over the disclosure of security data for online banking is entering a new round. The German banks move to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) and thus against a decision of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Dusseldorf, which had given the Bundeskartellamt right earlier this year. The Cartel Office had previously put the Private Banks Association (BdB), the Association of the National and Raiffeisen Banks (BVR) and the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV) in the barriers.

All three banking associations have now called the BGH, as the BdB announced in a joint response to a Handelsblatt request. "From our point of view, the Higher Regional Court of Duesseldorf did not properly assess issues of legal significance," it states.

Since the associations with the specifications for the protection of the secret number (PIN) and the security code (TAN) in the on-line banking conditions only the security in the interest of bank and customer would like to protect, contrary to opinion of the OLG Duesseldorf no antitrust offense was in front". The banking associations have made an application for a non-admission complaint procedure as well as a complaint procedure (file number IVR 13/19), said the BGH.

In the dispute, which has been smoldering for years, the question of whether German financial institutions could ban their security clauses is that customers pass on PIN and TAN to third-party providers such as financial start-ups (fintechs). The banking associations affirm this and recommended that their members agree on terms and conditions.

At the end of January 2019, however, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court upheld the antitrust authority's view that such terms and conditions for online banking are unlawful. From 2009 until the beginning of 2018, corresponding clauses were common. Since the beginning of last year, regulations from the EU Payment Directive PSD2 have been in force in Germany, which regulate the access to online banking by third parties.

However, the German banks could still face claims for damages. Because in essence, the dispute revolves around a specific case: Did the German financial institutions for years with their standard terms and conditions the online payment service immediate, early Sofortüberweisung disabled? Its payment method is based on the fact that the customer enters the PIN and TAN of his online banking on the instant website and thus initiates the payment.

Immediately today is part of the Swedish Fintechs Klarna. Klarna declined to comment on the lawsuit and whether the company is considering compensation claims.

"Unfair competitive advantages"

The lawsuit of the banking associations goes back to a dispute between Sofort and the competitor Giropay. Giropay – owners are savings banks, Volksbanks and the Postbank – had already sued in 2010 against immediate before the regional court Cologne. Again, the conflict sparked at the passing of PIN and TAN. Giropay, whose customers use their online banking methods to initiate payments, said Immediate use of unfair competitive advantages at the expense of online banking security.

In the course of this dispute prompt appeal filed with the Bundeskartellamt – with success. The Cartel Office based the position of Sofort and found that the corresponding online payment services had been unjustifiably obstructed by the duty to maintain secrecy. The banking associations filed a lawsuit against this finding by the competition authority before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf.

Giropay is Paydirekt's second online payment service in the German banking industry. Meanwhile, the German financial institutions are looking for Handelsblatt information to merge the two offers. The project, about which the Handelsblatt has already reported several times, runs under the working title "X-Pay".

The background is that both Giropay and Paydirekt are used comparatively little. The German consumers pay their Internet purchases mainly by invoice, they also often use direct debits, the US online payment service Paypal and credit cards.

More: The industry of payment service providers is booming. But banks can only slightly benefit from the trend towards more cashless payments.

. (tagsToTranslate) Online Banking (t) Banking (t) Money Houses (t) Pin (t) Tan (t) Secret Number (t) Security Number (t) Bundeskartellamt (t) Antitrust (t) Electronic Payments (t) Payment Transactions (t ) Antitrust policy (t) Giropay (t) BGH (t) BdB (t) DSGV (t) Paydir (t) Klarna (t) PayPal (t) Deutsche Postbank (t) BVR (t) Fintech (t) Electronic banking (t ) Banks & Credit Institutions

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