Germany’s Paydirekt reportedly heading for closure in favour of EPI


Several German banks are reportedly planning to withdraw their support for Giropay operator Paydirekt in favor of the new European Payments Initiative (EPI).

Paydirekt was launched in late 2015 by a consortium of major German banks, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Sparkassen, and Raiffeisenbanken, to enable online shoppers to pay directly from their bank accounts. The system later merged with Giropay, an online payment system founded in 2006, and the peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service Kwitt in 2021, aiming to unify domestic mobile and online payment capabilities across Germany and compete with services like PayPal.

However, the future of the merged company is now uncertain. An undisclosed spokesperson told Finanz-Szene, “There are currently votes at the shareholder level on the future of Giropay or Paydirekt GmbH as the operating company.”

Further developments are expected during a shareholder meeting later this week, which could result in the company’s total closure.

This speculation coincides with the upcoming launch of Wero, the EPI’s digital wallet solution, set to debut in Germany, France, and Belgium by mid-2024. Wero promises to deliver secure and fast payments, P2P transactions, online shopping capabilities, and loyalty programs, with plans to expand to the Netherlands and other countries in the future.

The EPI will support Wero with its account-to-account (A2A) infrastructure and recent acquisitions of Currence’s iDEAL solution and Payconiq International (PQI) in November.