From the Bundesbank’s point of view, a simultaneous failure of many payment terminals, as in the past few weeks, could damage trust in the Girocard in particular. Although there was no significance for the overall system, the Bundesbank announced on Friday that it was a serious incident for card payment transactions. Retailers will have to analyze the extent of the affected businesses in the form of a drop in sales and the loss of customers in due course.
The Bundesbank is closely following the search for the cause of the fault in the terminal type H5000 from the US manufacturer Verifone. We are in close contact with the financial supervisory authority Bafin, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the partner central banks in the Eurosystem. “Once normal operations have been restored, we will fundamentally work through the disruption with the German banking industry as Girocard’s control body.”
BSI sees no threat
According to the BSI, there is no indication of a cyber attack in the software error that occurred on Tuesday evening last week. Nevertheless, financial service providers such as Payone or Concardis – which operate the terminals – fall into the area of the so-called critical infrastructure. This is the case if the number of transactions exceeds 21.5 million euros per year. Overall, the BSI sees no increased threat to electronic payment systems at the moment. According to its own statements, Bafin has written to all payment service providers that may be affected. The aim is to get a better picture of the extent of the disruption.
Payment service providers had announced that Verifone had provided a solution package to fix the disruption. The companies have different opinions as to whether replacing the devices – which are widespread but have not been sold for a long time – makes more sense. Some retail chains, such as Aldi Nord, quickly switched to replacing the devices in order to be able to resume business operations smoothly.
Some payment service providers see the disruption as an opportunity to compete with incumbent providers. As the drugstore chain Rossmann announced, it also uses terminals from the fintech Sumup in its branches. “With the new terminals, we are relying on a multi-supplier strategy. In this way, we can continue to react easily to possible disruptions in the future and continue to offer our customers the usual shopping experience,” said Rossmann Managing Director Antje König.
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