According to the statutory definition in S. 1 para. 1 sentence 2 no. 2 of the German Act on the Prudential Supervision of Payment Services (ZAG), “disbursement business” describes services which enable cash disbursements from a payment account as well as all transactions required to maintain a payment account.
Disbursement business includes, for example, the operation of cash machines (ATMs). Disbursement business constitutes a payment service. Anyone wanting to carry out disbursement business at a professional level requires a licence to do so (in Germany this is a licence from BaFin).