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Bad news for German bank customers: Mastercard is abolishing Maestro

Bad news for German bank customers: Mastercard is abolishing Maestro
The days of the Maestro badge are numbered. (Image: nodi.jpg / Shutterstock.com)
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Maestro is the name of one of the two systems that allow your Girocards to use them abroad and online. Mastercard wants to enforce its own card and is therefore switching off the system – soon.

The Maestro system from Mastercard and the V-Pay system from Visa provide local girocards, the common bank cards, the most important additional features for use on the web and abroad. Without Maestro or V-Pay, bank cards would not be able to pay in shops or withdraw cash from ATMs abroad.

And it is exactly this system that Mastercard will first abolish in mid-2023. From July 1, 2023, Girocards with the Maestro co-badge will no longer be allowed to be issued in most European countries. Cards that are already in circulation should remain valid until the end of the card period. That could well be a few more years. So if you have just received a new card, you can be satisfied.

Maestro: The end of July 2023

Bank cards issued after July 1, 2023 will no longer allow their users to do so , for example, to pay with the card while on vacation. Other solutions such as a separate credit card are then required for this. With this step, Mastercard wants to push its own debit cards into the market, but is also reacting to a rapidly declining spread of Maestro cards. While the share was 602 million cards worldwide in 2016, it will be only 404 million in 2021.

However, nowhere will the effects of the decision have such clear consequences as in Germany. Most of the 100 million girocards in circulation have the Maestro or V-Pay co-badge. According to the financial scene, such a “significant two-digit million number” of cards could lose the online and international functionality.

Solution: Coupling with the debit card of the financial giants or implementing your own EPI concept

The German banks are coming under pressure with the Mastercard decision to give their customers a new one Offer solution. This could be a coupling with a debit mastercard, for example. The Savings Banks Association launched model projects last year. In Austria this jump was made years ago.

Mastercard and Visa are to massively incentivize the switch to their debit solutions. With neobanks such as N26 or the Solarisbank, they have already achieved the status of the standard card. This leaves the banks with only a few options. Either they bow to the pressure of the card giants or they actually invest billions in the European Payments Initiative (EPI), which has been bobbing for years, i.e. its own, pan-European scheme to compete with Mastercard and Visa.

With the step of Mastercard and the forecast the imminent successor to Visa will get things going. Because with the termination, there is a need for action that cannot be suppressed. Let’s wait a while …

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