Is the transfer from an account safe?

Which online payment methods are safe? What can they cost?

Pay online: which method is safe?

The safest way to pay is after receiving a invoice or the Issuing a direct debit authorization. Here you don't run the risk of not receiving any goods, goods other than those you ordered, or receiving faulty goods and still chasing your money. An invoice is only paid when the goods have arrived. With the direct debit authorization, the direct debit can be objected to within eight weeks after the account has been debited. The bank will then collect the amount back.

This is different when paying by Transfer before receipt of goods or when paying with Credit card. These types of payment mean a reversal of the principle "first the goods, then the money": If the customer does not like the goods, he has to demand the payment back from the entrepreneur, which can be tedious. Therefore, if possible, payment by invoice or direct debit should be preferred. Cash on delivery items minimize the risk, but unfortunately, cash on delivery cannot protect against fraud. Unfortunately, you cannot be sure that the goods you have ordered are actually in the package.

Internet payment systems

In many online shops, the purchase price can also be over Internet payment systems (such as PayPal). This has the advantage that you do not have to send your account details directly to the online retailer and the payment is carried out immediately. However, you must also set up a customer account for the payment services and make sure that no one learns the access data. With other payment systems (such as you can use your usual password for online banking, but you have to enter it outside of your bank's online portal. As of January 13, 2018, these payment systems are subject to the financial supervision BaFin. As a result, your bank can no longer prohibit you from forwarding your access data to payment systems. However, when using such payment initiation services, insights into potentially sensitive account data are made possible.

Which means of payment an online retailer generally accepts must be specified on the website at the latest when the order process begins. So it is not enough that you only find out in the middle of the ordering process that payment by invoice is not even offered. Since, for example, a credit check is only possible after entering your personal data in the ordering process, the retailer can, however, make it dependent on the outcome of whether he offers purchase on account in a specific individual case.

No extra costs for card payments and payment services

Since January 13, 2018, online merchants are no longer allowed to charge separate fees for card payments when making purchases over the Internet. This applies across Europe and is based on the new Payment Services Directive. "Particularly popular" means of payment such as giro cards or credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa are included. You no longer have to pay the merchant a fee for SEPA transfers and SEPA direct debits. Incidentally, these restrictions also apply to retailers in stationary retail.

Payment with payment services such as "Sofort├╝berweisung" and "PayPal" may not cost customers anything extra, according to a ruling by the Regional Court of Munich I (ruling of December 13, 2018, Az. 17 HK O 7439/18). PayPal also forbids merchants in the general terms and conditions (GTC) to charge customers.

Controversial extra costs for bills

It has not been clarified whether retailers can ask you to pay extra on account. Against this is the fact that you pay by SEPA transfer when buying on account. No fee may be charged for the transfer. So far, however, there has been a lack of judicial decisions.