PayTechTalk 49 – Time of crisis – time for vouchers? Prepaid products to help with the crisis

PayTechTalk 49 - Krisen-Zeit - Gutschein-Zeit_Prepaid-Produkte gegen die Krise | PayTechLaw
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Everyone is currently talking about the “Corona crisis” and of course it also affects our day-to-day life here at PayTechLaw. However, in our 49th episode of PayTechTalk we don’t want to just list problems. Our aim is rather to discuss potential solutions regarding how payment products can help mitigate the effects of the impending economic crisis.

I am very pleased to welcome two distinguished experts as today’s guests: Hugo Godschalk, CEO of PaySys Consultancy GmbH (he should already be known to our loyal readers and listeners as he is a regular author on our PayTechLaw blog as well as a regular podcast guest on our PayTechTalk). Stefan Schneider owns the companies CardsConsult and netzwerk-handel and has been busying himself with the needs and challenges of German trading companies in the payment industry for more than 20 years.

Time of crisis – time for vouchers? These are the questions we are looking into

Will prepaid products emerge as the winners from the current crisis?

We are talking about the application of “travel vouchers”. What happens if the organiser has to repay the travel cost? Is the envisaged voucher a viable solution? Won’t this mean that the consumer will take on the risk of the organiser becoming insolvent? Would it solve the problem if the state could redeem it and if the voucher could be used with different companies? Would this be legally permissible, particularly in light of state aid, supervisory law and applicable travel contract legislation?

Would this potentially fall under a licence exemption in accordance with the German Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG), i.e. due to a “limited range”? What would the technical implementation look like? How could an acceptance network be built up and what would clearing and settlement look like?

The retail sector is facing a big challenge. The fact that there is no liquidity and no possibility to increase customer loyalty and that they are losing customers to the big online merchants, larger competitors or that customers simply buy less could very quickly mean the end for some of them.

Would so-called city cards, which do not even need a licence if certain requirements are met, be an option? However, in this case the money would remain with the issuer and this would therefore not solve the liquidity problem. And how would the consumer be protected from an insolvency of the issuers?

Could vouchers that are issued for specified services but not limited to one merchant help with mitigating a potential inflation?

And would vouchers generally not help those who also need all of our help even if there is no crisis? In this respect, would vouchers be useful that can be redeemed for food at participating food retailers? Would it not also be an option to give out vouchers to those particularly in need of help?

So many questions – and lots of ideas as well as the hope that with the help of ideas, courage and innovation, we may even emerge stronger from this crisis together.

Enjoy our 49th episode of PayTechTalk. And stay healthy.

Please note that the podcast is in German.

Further information and links can be found at

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