From Christian Kirchner
The DKB removes both the Girocard and the classic credit card from its standard card portfolio. The clear “Top of Wallet” product for the approximately 4.6 million DKB customers will in future be the Visa debit card, as the DKB confirmed upon request. The girocard and the charge credit card should in principle remain in the portfolio, but will apparently only be given to customers on request. “The exact product details have not yet been finally clarified,” said a spokesman. The industry service “Inside Digital” had previously even reported the complete abolition of girocards and credit cards. The DKB contradicted this.
So far it has been the case that DKB customers automatically receive a girocard and a charge credit card. It was already indicated recently that this will not stay that way (see our reports here and here). Now the swing is even more radical than expected. Because: So far, only neobanks such as N26, Revolut or Kontist and Co. have consistently and in many cases exclusively relied on debit cards with immediate liquidation. In traditional banks, the introduction of a debit card from Visa or Mastercard has usually only supplemented the card portfolio consisting of Girocard and the (mostly optional) charge credit cards.
At the DKB, the classic charge credit card has so far been the “top of wallet” product (incidentally, employees sometimes even publicly pissed off the use of Girocard, see here …). This gave DKB a unique selling point, for example in competition with the largest German direct bank, ING Diba. This does not yet offer its around 9.5 million customers a charge credit card at all, but also relies on a debit card, but also automatically issues customers a Girocard at the same time.
At the DKB, there are two reasons for the radical shift: On the one hand, Visa should financially sweeten the shift to a debit card as a top-of-wallet product; DKB can use this income for ongoing investments in digitization and transformation. Visa and Mastercard attack the girocard with deep pockets. On the other hand, the bank is aiming to have 8 million customers by mid-2024, so it has to grow by around 3.4 million net customers within three years. That should only work if the bank wins new customers who are not creditworthy enough for a classic charge credit card.
Girocard against the rest of the world: The big analysis of the German card market