Sofortbanking (which is called sofortuberweisung in Germany) is a payment system, which gives customers an ability to pay by a wire transfer from lots of European banks. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
The idea is pretty simple (and clever at the same time). Their systems are integrated with a lot of banks from around the Europe and they offer payments through these banks in one web interface. So if you want to pay in a web store, you have to be forwarded to sofort’s website, where you need to choose your bank, put your login, password and some token and… just click the submit button.
Sounds great, so what’s the problem? In ‘put your login, password and some token’. Which login and password do you need to put there? To your bank account. Which token do you need to put there? The same token as the one you need to put while you’re making a typical wire transfer (e.g. from the SMS or a scratch card). Where do you need to put this information? On sofortbanking website. So… you need to trust them enough, to put such a confidential data in their system.
I’m 100% sure their systems are safe enough. I’m pretty sure they realize how confidential data they store on their servers. However I was raised in the Polish mentality, so it’s hard for me to trust this kind of solutions.
What’s interesting… it’s very popular in Germany. So if you want to sell your products in this market – you should have this payment method in your portfolio. What about the rest of Europe? They have recently started to expand to other countries. And I’m very curious if they succeed in these markets too. That would be wonderful… try to imagine: you (as a merchant) need to be integrated with one (only ONE) payment platform to have the ability to receive wire transfers from most of the European banks. Great, isn’t it?
photo source: SXC.hu