There are several e-payment providers and systems in Germany. Giropay, e.g. was created by banking institutes, whereas Sofortüberweisung.de is operated by Payment Network AG near Munich. Girpay has a German market share of about 8%, which is rather little compared with the 50% of PayPal. Sofortüberweisung.de, being apparently more dynamic and cheaper than Giropay, owns a market of 28%, with 20% more comping up until the end of 2010 (according to ECC Handel’s latest research study “Der Internet-Zahlungsverkehr aus Sicht der Händler“). So, competition is hot.
On February 2nd, Giropay accused Sofortüberweisung.de of illegal competitive practises and of endangering the security of online banking, dragging Payment Networks to court. Potential penalty: 300.000 euros. The accused company, however, takes this move easy and is certain that the lawsuit will take years.
On February 24th, Sofortüberweisung.de announced that, together with its partner Deutsche Kontor, that it has founded its own bank, the Sofort Bank. Addressing e-retailers, Sofort Bank offers a business account with several services: matching payment confirmations with actual payments received, payback directly out of the system, and payments from/to countries outside the euro/SEPA zone.