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Under Payment ( English payment , French payement ) is understood in the economy , the transfer of ownership of money from the fee-paying debtor to the creditor ( creditors ). Payment is one of the most important economic transactions always related to money. Money in the sense of payment is considered to be cash , book money or money surrogates . Cash payment debt for the purposes of cash debt genus debt special kind Most -. But not always - a payment is effected for the purpose of fulfilling a monetary obligation . But the gift of cash is also a payment without having to meet a monetary debt or expecting anything in return . According to Section 241 (1) BGB, the creditor of a monetary debt can demand a performance from the debtor , which the debtor can provide by acting in the form of a monetary payment. According to Section 243 (2) BGB, a debtor is released from his monetary debt as soon as he has undertaken what is necessary for payment. To this end, he must ensure, in accordance with Section 270 (1) BGB, within the scope of the risk of performance , that the money is available at the creditor's place of residence or place of business .

In the case of cash payments, there is only an unrestricted acceptance obligation by the creditor for banknotes , while he only has to accept a maximum of 50 coins for euro coins. According to Art. 11 Clause 3 of this EC Regulation , "with the exception of the issuing authority (...) nobody is obliged to accept more than fifty coins for a single payment". A payment by bank money or monetary surrogates participate in the creditors, once the credit to his bank account agrees or by account Note on his letterhead of business letter or its bill brings the consent expressed.


The Roman law designated by the word "debt Resolution" ( Latin solutio ) the termination of a contractual obligation by redemption ( Latin liberatio ). The debt relationship ended when the debt was paid. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Old High German “zalōn” and the Middle High German “zaln” came into being, both of which meant “to perform arithmetically, to explain according to the rules of numerical art”. The payment amount was determined by a counting board , so that this process of paying off a debt was called a payment.

The “ Great Complete Universal Lexicon of All Sciences and Arts ” by Johann Heinrich Zedler from 1749 deals in great detail with the concept of payment and defines payment as “reimbursement of what one owes another and happens when one is his creditor satisfied either with cash or by settlement, instruction and the like ”. In 1794, the legal scholar Christoph Christian von Dabelow understood a payment to mean the cancellation of a liability in cash. The lawyer Julius Albert Gruchot (1805–1879) pointed out as early as 1871 that the payment was to be viewed as a legal transaction because it consisted of two identical declarations of intent by the debtor and the debtor.

For the business economist Konrad Mellerowicz , payment in 1952 was “every donation of money”. With regard to the purpose of payment, he made a distinction between consideration for a delivery ( goods , machines , securities ), performance ( rent , wages , insurance premiums ) and unilateral public debt ( taxes , customs duties , social security ).

Laws today use the terms payment and repayment very often, but do not offer a legal definition . For example, the retention of title in Section 449 (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB) requires the seller to retain title to the goods until the purchase price has been paid . Payment is the core point of payment service law , which speaks of the payment process in Section 675f of the German Civil Code.

Payment service law

The payment service law applicable in all EU member states obliges credit institutions ("payment service providers") according to Section 675f (1) BGB in the case of an individual payment contract to carry out a payment transaction from the debtor to the payee. According to Section 675f (3) of the German Civil Code (BGB), the payment process is any provision, transfer or withdrawal of an amount of money, regardless of the underlying legal relationship between payer and payee. A payment order is any order that a payer gives his payment service provider to execute a payment transaction, either directly or indirectly via the payee. The payment process is triggered between the banks involved by booking the payment, which results in an expense for the debtor by debiting the account and for the payee a corresponding income in the form of a credit .

Purchase contract

The purchase contract as the most important contract of everyday life sees the buyer's obligation to pay as his typical contractual obligation in Section 433 (2) BGB. For the buyer, having to pay means that he has to provide the seller with as much money as the purchase price. The payment must train to train (to be made against transfer of ownership of the purchased item § 320 1 para. BGB). This Synallagma allows the buyer to refuse to accept defective goods (without falling into default of acceptance ) and to refuse to pay the purchase price.

Obligation to pay

The debtor does not have to pay until the due date . The debtor's obligation to pay arises from the underlying debt relationship and is not canceled by the fact that he cannot pay, because a debtor is subject to unlimited financial liability (“You have money to have”). According to § 286 para. 4 BGB the debtor's default of the debtor to represent what is believed this principle in money debts. If the obligee refuses to accept the payment without justification, the debtor will still be released from his payment obligation according to § 300 Abs. 2 BGB. By transferring the money according to § 929 sentence 1 BGB, fulfillment occurs in the case of a payment debt according to § 362 paragraph 1 BGB , the obligation expires. On foreign currency denominated monetary obligations can generally determined by § 244 1 BGB in para. Euros are settled.

Payment Methods

Measured in terms of total sales in German retail , the most common payment methods in 2015 were cash payments (52.4%), ec-cash (24%), ec-direct debits (14.2%), credit cards (5.7%), Transfer (3.1%), customer cards (0.6%), also less cash cards , credit cards , checks or cash are used.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Payment  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. BGHZ 28, 123, 128
  2. Wolfgang Fikentscher / Andreas Heinemann, Law of Obligations , 10th Edition, 2006, p. 138 Rn. 259
  3. Regulation (EC) No. 974/98 (PDF) of the Council of May 3, 1998, Official Journal L 139 of May 11, 1998
  4. BGH NJW 1953, 897
  5. Julius Albert Gruchot , The Doctrine of the Payment of Debt According to Today's German Law , 1871, p. 6.
  6. ^ Oswald Hahn, Company's means of payment , 1962, p. 23 f.
  7. ^ Johann Heinrich Zedler, Large Complete Universal Lexicon of All Sciences and Arts , Volume 60, 1749, Sp. 1171 ff.
  8. ^ Christoph Christian von Dabelow, System der heute Civilrechtsgelahrtheit , Volume 1, 1794, p. 267
  9. Julius Albert Gruchot, The Doctrine of Paying Debt According to Today's German Law , 1871, p. 12
  10. Konrad Mellerowicz, Payments , 1952, p. 7
  11. Wolfgang Fikentscher / Andreas Heinemann, Law of Obligations , 10th Edition, 2006, p. 419 RN 856
  12. Dieter Medicus in: Archive for civilist practice 188, 1988, p. 501
  13. Wolfgang Boiger, Material Law , 2014, p. 66
  14. called “Payment Instruments” by the Bundesbank