Electronic Cash

Electronic cash (own spelling: electronic cash ) is the debit card system of the German banking industry (DK), the Representation of the credit industry associations in Germany. Cards with the " electronic cash " logo are only issued by credit institutions, usually in conjunction with a checking account. In Electronic Cash card payment by entering the PIN ( Personal Identification Number) by the cardholder to a so-called EFT - POS terminal ( Electronic Funds Transfer Terminal, Terminal for electronic fund transfers, "money transfers "). The term EC originated from Euro check, a Europe-wide, uniform check payment system in conjunction with a bank guarantee. Similar debit card systems are Maestro and V Pay. Electronic cash debit cards are often also equipped by the issuing banks with Maestro card function and then referred to as EC / Maestro cards in the meantime, however, put some banks and savings banks on the next flights from Visa V Pay offer ( eg Postbank, Comdirect etc. ) are combined to recognize these cards at additional Maestro or V - Pay logo on the card.

  • 5.1 Electronic Cash with magnetic stripe
  • 5.2 Electronic Cash with chip, chip offline 5.2.1 example

Network operators

In the Working Group of Electronic Cash network operators are all together in Germany approved by the DK network operator. According to the Federal Cartel Office, the network operators that have significant market share:

  • Easy Cash - easy cash GmbH, Ratingen, market share 40 % (as of 2007)
  • TeleCash GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart (over 20 % market share)
  • B S - B S Card Service GmbH. Frankfurt am Main (10% to 15 % market share)
  • WEAT - WEAT Electronic Data Service GmbH, Dusseldorf ( below 10%)
  • Montrada - since 2010 Equens SE, (less than 10 % (as of 2006), claims to be from the year 2010 number 3 in Germany )
  • Inter Card - Inter Card AG, Taufkirchen b. Munich ( below 10%)

Furthermore, in 2006 had a market share of less than 3% of the company's DVB Processing, CardProcess, Tyco / ADT, Bank -Verlag, CardTech, CCV allcash ecm, EKS, Alphyra, Experian, Paycom, Lavego, Telekurs. The network operators were 2010, in addition to the aforementioned only CardProcess, CardTech and Lavego, but additionally AGES, BCB Processing, German Rail, German BP, Douglas computer science & Services, Elavon, ESSO Germany, ICP International Cash Processing GmbH, Post Bank, Shell and transact.

Acceptance Mark

The acceptance characters of electronic cash are the pictograms " Electronic Cash PIN pad " and " girocard ". The Technical Annex to the terms and conditions for participation in the " electronic cash " system of the German banking industry (dealers conditions ) contains the obligation on the dealer to newly established POS locations until further notice " Electronic Cash PIN pad " and " girocard " as Acceptance Mark to be used in parallel. On the debit cards of banks and savings banks, electronic cash acceptance marks are also applied.

Electronic Cash PIN pad

Ec Electronic Cash

The trademark rights to the acceptance mark ( girocard Acceptance Mark and electronic cash PIN pad acceptance characters) are held by EURO Card Systems GmbH for the German banking industry.

In a transition phase is still the pictogram " ec electronic cash " can be found on debit cards the German banking industry and at POS terminals as acceptance characters. This sign was used for the transition from Euro check ( slip exemplary figures by check ) to numbers with ec - card ( card-based numbers with PIN). After the abolition of the Euro check process, the issue of ec - card set by the German banking industry and sold the trademark rights to Euro check to MasterCard. The character " ec electronic cash " is no longer officially used by the German banking industry as a sign of acceptance of electronic cash. The remaining cards are equipped in the normal exchange cards with the characters " Electronic Cash PIN pad " and / or " girocard ". Newly formed electronic cash POS terminals also bear the mark " Electronic Cash PIN pad " and / or " girocard ".

Hardware and Software

A card terminal (also: merchant terminal or EFT - POS terminal ) is composed of hardware and software components. The main components in the area of ​​hardware security module, the PIN pad, the printer, the display, the magnetic stripe card reader, smart card reader and the communication module and the power supply.

The software is mainly composed of the operating system, the communications software, the software of the security module as well as various software modules for OPT, EMC and additional applications ( prepaid, loyalty programs, remote maintenance ). The most important element in this case is the so-called security module. Without this, the terminal only for electronic debits (ELV) is suitable.

All card terminals on the electronic cash method must be certified by the German banking industry to participate in the cashless payment transactions. Terminals that support only the EULA, do not require certification by the DK. The operation of a card terminal is a provider contract ahead with a network operator. The provider (technical operator) performs further processing of the collected data through the terminal. By a service provider ( commercial operators ) of commercial users ( business owner, dealer ) is maintained during the life of the terminal can use a hotline that receives technical support and warranty services through on-site technician, and has a contact person for questions about billing, transaction controlling, contract administration, etc.


In July 2012, it was announced that due to a vulnerability in a commercially widely reader, the card data, including personal identification number ( PIN) from the computer network spying and can be used for criminal purposes. The vulnerability exploited a buffer overflow that can be exploited in technologically outdated software with security typically smaller type. The provider of payment services VeriFone wants to close the vulnerability by updating the software.

Chip to magnetic stripe

Each ATM card is provided with a magnetic strip. The magnetic stripe is read only and thus contains only static information. As of 2000, more and more banks equipped the newly issued cards in addition to a chip off the EMV chip. 2008 70 % of cards issued had a chip. The chip can be expected as a small computer, and answer queries without its contents ( complete) can be read. Magnetic strip can be easily copied, chips are not. To maintain backward compatibility, especially for the most integrated Maestro Card, the cards still remain equipped with a magnetic strip. Paying Agents, which are capable of both types of communications choose generally safer over the chip. Here ( Technical Appendix ) 7.0, the DK was introduced by the Regulation approving TA that the chip is to be used when a chip is present. Since 2011, it is obligatory chip for electronic cash to use method.

The magnetic stripe of a card has three tracks. Until 30 September 2009, the track 3 of the magnetic stripe for payments was read in Germany. Since then, the international standard track 2 is read. Lane 3 is used for the electronic direct debit.

The Criminal Calls on the banks, default output ec cards without magnetic stripe and to issue a card with a magnetic strip only customers who use their ATM card outside Europe.

Payment authorization

Electronic cash with magnetic stripe

A guaranteed payment to a POS terminal (Point Of Sales) is as follows:

Main feature is the online authorization of payment. During the online authorization the card used against a lock file ( marked debits Less credit plus line of credit. ) Of the account holder is checked, the entered PIN is checked for validity, the entered payment amount is the amount available compared. With a negative testing of the above points, the payment will be rejected. The authorization and the audit of the account funds and compliance with the daily limit will be carried out by the computer center of the card-issuing institution.

General course of an electronic cash payment using the magnetic stripe:

  • The security module is activated and requires the entry of the PIN number.
  • No entry of the card used in the lock file exists,
  • The entered PIN is correct,
  • The payment amount within the available financial envelope is.

Electronic Cash with chip, chip offline

General sequence of " electronic cash " payment using the chip:

  • The security module is activated and requires the entry of the PIN number.
  • The correct PIN is checked in the chip of the card. If the entered PIN is correct, the incorrect entry counter is set to zero. If it's false, the incorrect entry counter is incremented by one, he has reached three, the board reported their own blocking. ( The bank can the chip using a bank special function terminals ( BSFT ) to unlock. )
  • The required payment amount is sent to the chip card.
  • For sufficiently high, has not yet expired credit stored in the chip, the amount subtracted is stored and the reduced credit limit on the chip, go to Step 7
  • Verifies that no entry of the card used in the lock file exists
  • Checks if the payment amount is within the available financial envelope.
  • The payment rejected if one of the features is not met.
  • Sent a payment authorization (authorization) to the chip and stored there. Approximately following information is stored: " allows more payments until total of 500 EUR by the end of the month. "

The steps three through six shall cease upon the stored on the chip of credit is not yet exhausted, this does not fall in any payment process management costs and in particular the payment process is often greatly accelerated, as no online connection must be established. The Bank recognizes its customers here in addition to scheduling a credit.


  • In the first " electronic cash " transaction over 30 euros is features. The terminal asks for the bank, and then stores the payment release, further payments are allowed up to 500 euros total by month end.
  • In the business next door 70 euros be paid back with Electronic Cash, an inquiry at the bank is not necessary because the payment release is already stored on the chip. On the chip, a remaining credit of 430 euros will be saved now.
  • The next day, during the same month 419 euros to be paid by means of electronic cash. An inquiry at the bank is again not necessary because the payment release is already stored on the chip. On the chip, a remaining credit of 11 euros will be saved now.
  • On the last day of the month, an amount of 12 € to be paid in another store. The credit limit on the card is not enough. The connection to the database is established. The bank reports that 12 euros immediately go in order and another 500 euros to the next month.


The cost of a debit payment depends on the amount of the payable amount. They amount to 0.3 % of sales, at least 8 cents for retail. In the petroleum sector, the basic amount is 0.2 % of turnover, at least 1 cent. There are also costs for the technical provision that is collected by the network operator.

After the dealer conditions, the dealers have " to accept cash payment rates and conditions " the cards, which means that traders bear the fees and ask when you pay with electronic cash customers only the cash subscription price of the goods or services invoiced. In retail, it is therefore to this day is still common that amounts partially above a certain level (eg 10 or 15 EUR ) can be paid with the card.

Authorization feature

Bank statements bookings are usually represented as follows:

  • ELV68197325 26.04 18:07 ME0
  • EC 68197325 260410180710OC0

First comes the payment method " EC" or "EULA ", then the terminal ID ( here: 68,197,325 ), then the date and time ( here: 26/04/2010 18:07:10 clock ), then a two -digit authorization feature, the card sequence number ( here: 0)

The following authorization features, each of which indicates with which technology the payment was authorized:

  • ME / MK - magnetic stripe authorization Electronic Cash with ( ME :) debit card, without limitation, (formerly ec card) or (MK :) other card, bank card, debit card
  • CE / CK - chip -based authorization Electronic Cash with (CE :) debit card, without limitation, (formerly ec card) or (CK :) other card, bank card, debit card
  • FE/2E - Track 2 (FE :) fallback (2E :) no fallback
  • IC / OC - EMC Authorization ( IC :) Offline ( OC :) Online

Payment procedures with electronic -cash debit cards

Debit card and electronic cash offer to the card-accepting merchants a payment guarantee, ELV payments, however, are not guaranteed and thus to a potential default risk.

  • The market share of electronic cash ( with PIN ) in 2005 was 13.1%, in 2009 to EUR 71 billion at 19.4 %.
  • The electronic wallet card can also be used for payment. It has an annual turnover of EUR 0.1 billion with a market share of less than 0.04%.
  • ELV ( Electronic Checks ) online or offline. In 2005, 12% of sales were handled in trade with this method. The market share in 2009 was 12.2%, with EUR 45 billion in the year. The method was introduced in 1984. For ELV online ( also sometimes called OLV ) any payment is checked online with a network operator to a nationwide CRL, and scoring parameters. ELV in offline is omitted a phone connection and testing. It is the cheapest method for traders. The account number and the bank number and the card number can be read from the magnetic stripe or chip in all methods only. The customer gives deviating to Electronic Cash with his signature a debit debit. Against failures ( charge backs ) a contract can be completed on purchase of receivables. In contrast to the abolished POZ process the bank of the cardholder is under no obligation in payment failures to disclose the name and address of the card holder to the merchant, which represents an increased risk for the trader.
  • POZ (point of sale without payment guarantee), in contrast to OLV and ELV, the process of trade are POZ was from its inception in 1994 until its abolition on 31 December 2006, a method of the Central Credit Committee (CCC, like the DK was then called ). During the checkout process, a lock interrogation took place at the head end of the card-issuing bank. Was the card is not reported as blocked, a debit memo was created by the dealer. The customer placed his signature a direct debit with debit and gave himself agrees that his bank to request the name and address of the dealer passes on ( in case of failures or charge backs ). The cost was 5 cents a blocking query. At the retail sales POZ had a share of 2.3% in 2005.

Studies on payment procedures

  • Markus Breitschaft, Thomas Krabichler, Ernst Stahl, Georg Wittmann: Secure Payment Methods for E -Government. In: Federal Office for Security in Information Technology ( Eds.): E -Government Manual. Federal Gazette, 2004, ISBN 3-89817-180-9 ( Updated version of May 2005. 144 pages, 43 illustrations, 32 tables, pdf, accessed 14 April 2010 ).
  • Ernst Stahl, Thomas Krabichler, Markus Breitschaft, Georg Wittmann payment transactions on the Internet - meaning, status quo and future challenges. Regensburg 2006, ISBN 3-937195-12-2 (229 pages, over 80 illustrations. Further details about the study and management summary see also http://www.ecommerce-leitfaden.de/juli-2006-zahlungsabwicklung-im-internet. html).