Apple no longer accepts money transfers in German online store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2016
Apple in a recent change to international retail policy eliminated money transfers, otherwise known as prepayment, as a purchase option on its online store in Germany.




As noted by local blog Macerkopf, Apple no longer accepts payment by money transfer, or ?berweisung, through its German online store, meaning customers must pay via credit card, PayPal/ELV or installment based financing.

Prior to the change, customers who elected to use the money transfer option had to route bank transfers through Apple partner WorldPay Customer Payments. According to the report, wire transfers could potentially lead to shipping delays, as Apple would send out orders only after receiving payment.

An Apple support document, which is still live on the company's website as of this writing, says processing of payments might in some cases take up to five days to post. Translated to real world shipments, prepayments could in some cases delay fulfillment by weeks, the report said.

Why Apple chose to abandon the prepayment option in Germany is unclear.

The retail change comes amidst a wider push to introduce Apple Pay to a growing international audience. Though not yet available in Germany, evidence suggests Apple is preparing to launch the fledgling service there in the near future. In October, for example, the company posted an Apple Pay support page to its regional German website, suggesting a future debut is in the offing.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,278member
    Are debit cards not common in Germany (or other countries)? I assumed that was a universal payment system these days.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member
    Debit cards are normal here. 

    In fact, don't really get real "credit" cards. Ours are balanced monthly. 
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Yes, there are 3 systems. EC/Girocard, Maestro and V-Pay, but only the first is important. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 4 of 17
    They mainly have money transfers and debit cards. PayPal use is fairly rare outside of eBay.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member
    Eliminating the old prepayment option is not a problem, since Apple's setup was the worst in existence. WorldPay needed up to a week to confirm incoming payments to Apple, while bank transfers within Germany rarely take more than 24 hours nowadays. Ordering new in demand items this way was nearly impossible, since the shipping day moved weeks or months until the WorldPay crooks finally admitted that they have your money. Unfortunately Apple still refuses to support better options like Giropay or Sofortüberweisung, which are both safe, instant and more convenient than PayPal. And as much as I like the idea of ApplePay becoming available here, let's not kid ourselves... If it comes at all, it will start with the same credit card companies that you could use right now. German banks will roll out at least a dozen non-working alternatives before they jump on board.
    spheric
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Germans hate credit cards.
    nubus
  • Reply 7 of 17
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member
    Soli said:
    Are debit cards not common in Germany (or other countries)? I assumed that was a universal payment system these days.
    The most common debit card system (EC/girocard) is only a point of sale system, no online use.
    Soli
  • Reply 8 of 17
    securtis said:
    Germans hate credit cards.
    Looks like the problem right there. 
  • Reply 9 of 17
    spheric said:
    Debit cards are normal here. 

    In fact, don't really get real "credit" cards. Ours are balanced monthly. 

    So you don't get the standard credit cards at all, or is it just bank-specific?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    So you don't get the standard credit cards at all, or is it just bank-specific?
    Germans do have access to Visa and MasterCard. They just prefer to pay by cash - with 79% of all transactions being in cash (often you have no other option).
    Don't expect for them to use more credit cards. The German language uses the same word for debt and guilt - same goes for the North Germanic languages (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian). We however use mostly debit cards. 
  • Reply 11 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,278member
    nubus said:
    So you don't get the standard credit cards at all, or is it just bank-specific?
    Germans do have access to Visa and MasterCard. They just prefer to pay by cash - with 79% of all transactions being in cash (often you have no other option).
    Don't expect for them to use more credit cards. The German language uses the same word for debt and guilt - same goes for the North Germanic languages (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian). We however use mostly debit cards. 
    Since using a debit card connected to MC or Visa is still paying by cash and you state "We however use mostly debit cards," does this mean this change will have no real impact for German customers that use the internet to shop?
  • Reply 12 of 17
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member
    nubus said:
    So you don't get the standard credit cards at all, or is it just bank-specific?
    Germans do have access to Visa and MasterCard. They just prefer to pay by cash - with 79% of all transactions being in cash (often you have no other option).
    Don't expect for them to use more credit cards. The German language uses the same word for debt and guilt - same goes for the North Germanic languages (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian). We however use mostly debit cards. 
    Our MasterCard and Visa aren't true credit cards as in the US: there, you're actually in constant debt to the company and pay off monthly rates over a long time. 

    Our "credit" card is balanced and all debts are paid off at the end of each month. 

    It's a completely different business model. 

    And, having been in sales, I can tell you it's not the customers who don't want to use them, it's the shops who refuse to accept them and pay the insane rates to the CC companies. 
  • Reply 13 of 17
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    securtis said:
    Germans hate credit cards.
    Is that because they're Greece's credit card?
  • Reply 14 of 17
    spheric said:

    And, having been in sales, I can tell you it's not the customers who don't want to use them, it's the shops who refuse to accept them and pay the insane rates to the CC companies. 
    We Germany neighbor and can confirm it. I have small shop/eshop and was offering at least online payments (instant bank transfer) until PayU asked for monthly fee as addition for commission.
    Classical wire bank transfer is on our account next day so when somebody order evening, order is shipped next day as he/her would choose pay on delivery.

    It is more convenient to accept cards in real shop then in online shop because you are dependent of whether your eshop solution has implemented support of specific gateway otherwise you have to pay implementation yourself. And it is not cheap.

    On other side I use card payment often if available since contactless terminals are nearby everywhere especially in supermarkets or on gas stations.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 15 of 17
    spheric said:


    Our "credit" card is balanced and all debts are paid off at the end of each month. 

    It's a completely different business model. 
    "Our" credit cards allow us to make that decision, not some corporate entity. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member
    spheric said:


    Our "credit" card is balanced and all debts are paid off at the end of each month. 

    It's a completely different business model. 
    "Our" credit cards allow us to make that decision, not some corporate entity. 
    Wow, you're totally awesome. 

    Turning the availability of a specific product into an issue of FREEDOM!!!1!!1GO USA! :smiley: 

    FWIW:
    We do get that model here, as well. It's available — it's just extremely uncommon. I don't think I've ever met anybody who used it. 

    All cards issued here tend to be charge cards, balanced monthly.
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 17 of 17
    spheric said:
    spheric said:


    Our "credit" card is balanced and all debts are paid off at the end of each month. 

    It's a completely different business model. 
    "Our" credit cards allow us to make that decision, not some corporate entity. 
    Wow, you're totally awesome. 

    Turning the availability of a specific product into an issue of FREEDOM!!!1!!1GO USA! :smiley: 

    FWIW:
    We do get that model here, as well. It's available — it's just extremely uncommon. I don't think I've ever met anybody who used it. 

    All cards issued here tend to be charge cards, balanced monthly.
    Not turning it into a political issue at all. I am simply saying that the nature of credit is completely different in the US. Not just in retailing or credit cards, but in housing, cars, and education. It is what drives consumption in the US economy, and two-thirds of our GDP is consumption.

    Interestingly, US companies take on very little debt (relative to their debt capacity), while German firms tend to be far more leveraged. In other words, consumers are over-leveraged and corporations under-leveraged in the US, the exact opposite of what happens in Germany. 

    That said, yes, at least in principle, there's the element of greater consumer freedom in the US compared to almost anywhere else in the world, most especially Europe, where retailing is heavily regulated.  
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