Giropay is very similar to many of the other intermediary online payment systems available, in that you use your Giropay account by transferring money through it from your bank account, in order to pay for online purchases. In this case it can only be funded by a direct bank transfer – unlike many of the others you cannot use a credit card to transfer funds to your account. It is also only available to German customers. It has established itself as a reputable and trustworthy player in the market, having been in existence since 2006 and since then having reached the level of processing more than a million monthly online transactions.
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Funding is done through a number of participating German banks, especially savings banks. It can also be funded using Deutsche Postbank. Transfers to your Giropay account are subject to normal processing times, but when you pay for something online with your Giropay account the transaction is immediate, so you don’t have to wait for delivery to be initiated.
Rather than pre-funding your Giropay account, you select it as your payment option when making a purchase with an online merchant and you are then transferred securely to your own bank’s online banking service, where you securely login following your normal procedure. The bank is able to authorise the transaction immediately, with notification of the authorisation being provided in real time to the online merchant. As soon as the payment has been processed you are automatically transferred back to the merchant page for the transaction to be concluded. The funds are directly transferred from your bank to the merchant, rather than having to go through an intermediate account held at Giropay. The only charges you pay are those associated with the banking payment gateways that are involved in transactions of this nature.
The single biggest security benefit is that you never have to actually give your banking details to the online merchant, and you remain in full control of the banking transactions that are made from your own banking service. Commercial grade SSL encryption protects all data transmitted as usual.