Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, as well as competitor Rewe Group, have enabled their contactless payment systems to accept the girocard (Girokarte), a debit card which is widely used in Germany.
The Aldi divisions had introduced contactless payment for credit cards or NFC (near-field communication) enabled smartphones in 2015 and 2016, respectively, but had noticed that many customers preferred to use their debit card to pay for shopping.
"As our customers are increasingly paying with their debit card, we wanted to make the electronic payment process even more efficient. Following the conversion the contactless payment system now accepts all suitable bank cards, contributing to more convenient and efficient shopping," explained Martin Lange, head of national IT at Aldi Süd.
Markus Kowalczyk, head of IT and sales systems at Aldi Nord added, "The Girokarte is one of the most frequently used bank cards in Germany. We are delighted to offer our customers an additional service, which will advance the acceptance of the contactless payment method."
From 6 March, Rewe Group will offer 14 million Girocard holders the same service at Rewe, Penny, and toom DIY stores, with a contactless €25 limit. More expensive purchases will require the customer to enter their PIN.
The retailer said that while cash is still the most popular means of payment, every fourth customer in its stores will use a debit card.
"We are innovative not only in terms of product ranges and sales forms, but we also offer our customers modern alternatives at the cash desk", commented Paul Monzel, managing director of Rewe Group Card Service GmbH.
"The Girocard is easy, safe and reliable for customers. If our customers want other forms of payment, such as mobile, we are already prepared for it, " he added.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Martha Sparrius. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine