Payment transactions

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In the economy, payment transactions are the entirety of all payments , i.e. transfers of means of payment between economic entities .


Payments are one of the most important economic transactions . They are between payer debtor and creditor ( creditors ) to fulfill a return (such as when the sales contract that he has made delivery ) replaced, as well as unrequited transfer performance ( donation , tax payment ). The interpersonal exchange of payments between economic entities is called payment transactions; international payment transactions are made with foreign countries .


In early Babylonian period could be by instructions on mainly of cereals existing bank balances have that in Egypt the Ptolemaic yet occurred. After the Persian Wars between 490 and 449 BC The leading trapezites in banking (today still in Greek τραπεζα trapeza for 'bank') accepted deposits and made payments from them by transferring them from one account to the other. The Roman counterpart to the trapezites were the Argentarii . They mediated payments by rewriting in the business books , rewriting ( Latin perscribere ) assumed the meaning of "payment". The act of instruction ( Latin delegatio ) was the starting point for payments in Roman law . First banks with exclusive payment transactions arose with the established in 1407 "Casa di San Georgio" in Genoa , the first state clearing banks were in 1587 Venice resulting "Banco di Rialto", which in 1592 Milan , founded Banco Ambrosiano and the "Banco Giro, founded in Venice in 1619 ", Which for the first time contained the word" Giro "in its name.

The Frankfurt Reformation found in 1578 that the mere instruction was not a payment. The payment is therefore not already effected with the obligation of the instructed, but only with his actual performance. This can still be found today in § 788 BGB . Following the example of the Italian banks, the Amsterdam exchange bank was created in January 1609 , followed by the Hamburg bank in March 1619 . It was a pure payment bank , which was followed in 1621 by the Nuremberg Banco Publico . The Reichsbank , founded in January 1876, took over the Hamburger Girobank as a branch . The Reichsbank board member Richard Koch understood a giro payment to mean the mediation of payments among customers through write-offs and write-ups in the bank books on the basis of the deposits.

In 1885, the legal scholar Georg Cohn contributed to the legal classification of payment transactions with the first works on payment transactions law and classified the giro contract as a prerequisite for giro payment, bank balances are the basis of every giro payment. In Germany, the economic crisis of 1907 gave the impetus to the introduction of cashless payment transactions in order to make the money supply of the economy more independent of cash . For this purpose, the various banking groups that have grown over time ( savings banks , Raiffeisen banks / Volksbanks, major banks , private banks ) built their own giro networks from 1908 onwards, in which payment transactions by top institutions ( giro centers , cooperative central banks) could be processed quickly. Johann Christian Eberle had recognized the advantages of a Sparkasse's own, closed payment transaction network and proposed the establishment of Girozentralen as a central clearing house in every state in Prussia. At Eberle's initiative, the Giroverband Sächsischer Kommunen with 151 members was founded on October 5, 1908 ; the actual giro traffic began on January 2, 1909 with the first German giro center, which started giro traffic for 143 giro registers in Dresden. As a result, other giro associations were founded, and on October 26, 1916, 12 giro associations merged to form the "German Central Giro Association". From 1923 onwards the merger of Landesbanken operating in the same region with pure giro centers began, which led to the creation of the "community banks ".

The state central banks processed cross-institutional and cross-regional payments . Payment transactions did not develop into mass business until 1957 with the introduction of cashless wage and salary payments. The current account made large groups of private households bankable for the first time. The Postscheckamt Hamburg, at that time the largest in the Federal Republic of Germany, introduced an EDP-supported standing order service for the first time in 1961 . From October 1963 the direct debit procedure was added and the payment initiative shifted to the payee . Both financial innovations contributed to the continuous increase in cashless payment transactions.

Payment transactions in the EU member states were standardized by the payment services law of October 2009. It led to Europe-wide uniform payment transactions , time specifications for order execution and rights of revocation. As of February 2014, the SEPA project created the European payment area , a uniform payment area for cashless payments in euros .

Legal issues

Payment transactions take place outside of the banking system, for example by paying the purchase price in cash between a consumer and the seller (e.g. in a supermarket). Here also lies for payments purchase contract law by § 433 2 et seq., Para. BGB , based on which the buyer is obliged to pay the seller the agreed purchase price and the purchased commodity to decrease . If credit institutions are involved in payment transactions, the payment service law of § § 675a ff. BGB applies . According to this, a payment process in accordance with Section 675f (4) of the German Civil Code (BGB) is any provision, transfer or withdrawal of a sum of money, regardless of the underlying legal relationship between payer and payee; Payment order is any order that a payer gives his payment service provider to execute a payment transaction, either directly or indirectly via a payment initiation service provider or the payee .

to form

A distinction is made between payment transactions in cash , half-payment and cashless payment .

cash payment

You do not need an account when paying with cash . Here the debtor hands over coins or banknotes to the creditor . Payment methods are cash, messenger or Western Union. There are cash deposits that increase the bank's cash balance and cash withdrawals that decrease it.

Half payment

In the case of half-payment , one of the parties involved needs an account. For example, the charged payer bar to an account of the payee ( cash deposit ), or from the account of the payer (debit) is paid to the payee bar (cash). Such payment methods are cashier's check , payment slip , travelers check and, in the case of a Postbank account, also cash on delivery . In the course of the digital transformation , u. a. Barzahlen and Paysafecash emerged. In both systems, a code is generated online, which can be printed out or saved as a payment slip or purchase slip. Common payment offices are, for example, cash register systems in supermarkets and ticket machines . So z. B. Hartz IV funds can also be paid out in the supermarket.

Cashless payment

For cashless payments , both parties use their account . Through these accounts the payment means is Bank transfer , real-time bank transfer , direct debit , debit order , personal check or change performed. The payer's account is debited with the payment amount and this is credited to the account of the payee. Other methods of payment are cash card , Girocard , debit card , credit card , debit card , mobile payment .

Payment history

The use of the various means of payment by economic entities is considered to be payment behavior.


The German Bundesbank established in 2014 in Germany a cash payment share of 53.2% of revenues or 79.1% of all transactions , followed by the Girocard (29.4% / 15.3%), credit card (3.9% / 1 , 3%), direct debit (3.0% / 0.5%) or bank transfer (5.3% / 1.0%). In terms of retail sales , the share of cash payments was 52.4% in 2015, followed by Girocard / EC-cash (23.2%), EC direct debit (14.2%) or credit card (5.7%). Pubs , cafés and fast-service restaurants have the highest rate of cash payments , with 96% payments being made in cash.


In Austria , cash continues to dominate the payment media landscape, as according to a survey in 2011, 65% of the volume and 82% of all transactions were processed in cash. In Switzerland, however, the share of cash is falling significantly. In 1990 the cash share was 90%; in 2014 it was 60%. Leader in cashless payment behavior in Europe is Sweden , where 95% of all retail transactions are cashless, in the UK were carried out 62% of all transactions in 2014 without cash. In the USA , after the financial crisis, payment transactions developed from a primarily credit card-based cashless to a debit card market from 2007 onwards . Here the cash share is only 23% (turnover) or 46% for transactions. In 2012, card payments achieved a market share of 67%, debit cards 38% and credit cards 21%. In Singapore , 81.9% of all transactions in 2013 were processed with e-money.


As a rule, every payment transaction is documented, in the context of private or commercial bookkeeping using account statements . In addition, every process is documented on paper or data; this does not have to be a transfer slip or a bank statement, but can also be a statement . A distinction is made between paper-based (paper) and paperless payment transactions. Special retention requirements must be observed .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Emanuel Hugo Vogel, On the history of giral traffic in antiquity , in: Vierteljahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte Nr. 29, 1936, p. 343
  2. Otto Gradenwitz, On banking and business in the papyri of the Roman era , 1903, p. 258, note 2
  3. Willy Schulthess, legal nature of giro contract and giro payment , 1910, p. 9
  4. Alexander Djazayeri, The History of Giro Transfer , 2011, p. 26
  5. ^ Johannes Conrad / Ludwig Elster / Wilhelm Lexis / Edgar Loehning (eds.), Concise Dictionary of Political Sciences , Volume IV, 1900, p. 728 f.
  6. Georg Cohn, Die Girozahl , in: Wilhelm Endemann (Ed.), Handbuch des Deutschen Handels-, Maritime- und Wechselrechts, 1885, p. 1047
  7. Georg Cohn, Die Girorechner , in: Wilhelm Endemann (Ed.), Handbuch des Deutschen Handels-, Maritime- und Wechselrechts, 1885, p. 1050
  8. ^ Hans Pohl, Economy, Enterprises, Credit System, Social Problems , Volume 1, 2005, p. 979
  9. Adalbert Dick, The entanglement between savings banks and Girozentralen , 1959, p. 19
  10. ^ Hans Pohl, Economy, Enterprises, Credit System, Social Problems , Volume 1, 2005, p. 980
  11. Melchior Palyi / Paul Quittner, Handwortbuch des Bankingwesens , 1933, p. 723 ff.
  12. Albert Hahn, Cashless payments: 75-30-15 years , in: Journal for the entire credit system, 1988, p. 664 f.
  13. Anne-Katrin Hochstrat: Hartz IV recipients now receive their money in the supermarket. In: . January 12, 2019, accessed February 21, 2019 .
  14. Deutsche Bundesbank, Payment behavior in Germany 2014 , 2015, p. 27
  15. Statista, the statistics portal, shares of payment methods in retail sales in Germany in 2015
  16. <Austrian National Bank, Payment Transactions: Use in Austria , 2012
  17. ^ Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich from June 2, 2015, cash or card? - that is the question
  18. Capgemini / RBS, World Payments Report 2015 , p. 6
  19. John Bagnall / David Bounie / Kim P Huynh / Anneke Kosse / Tobias Schmidt / Scott Schuh / Helmut Stix, Consumer cash usage: A cross-country comparison with payment diary survey data , Discussion Paper Deutsche Bundesbank No 13/2014, 2014, p 28 Table 1
  20. Capgemini / RBS, World Payments Report 2015 , p. 14