First Data to provide domestic and cross-border debit card processing in Germany

Source: First Data International

First Data International, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment solutions, is the first independent payments processor approved to offer comprehensive debit card processing services for both cross -border and domestic payments in Germany.

First Data successfully applied to Germany's ZKA (Central Credit Committee - owner of the national electronic cash system) to act as "Kopfstelle" (a central gateway) for the processing of national debit card transactions in Germany. This means that First Data is now permitted to offer routing and switching services for German banks on both the issuing and acquiring sides of the business. Card issuers can now also call upon authorisation services from First Data in support of their national debit card business, consolidating service provision for the processing of all their debit card transactions.

First Data's initiative opens-up national debit card processing in Germany to greater competition because banks in Germany were, until now, obliged to use one of four collectively owned "Kopfstellen" as the default gateway.

"Having more choices will be a real benefit to German retail and savings banks," comments Ernst Verbeek, vice president with responsibility for First Data's operations in Germany. "We take great pride in being a driving force in further advancing the German processing market. This is also a good example of how we can help make the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) a reality in the European finance landscape."

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