Girocard is a card-based payment system that works with a consumer’s online bank account. It is largely used in stores and at ATMs but, when co-branded with VISA or Mastercard, can be used online. With over 100 million cards issued to a population of just over 83 million people, girocard is the most popular form of payment in Germany, after cash.
At point of sale terminals, girocards work like most debit cards. Consumers use their card at the register, and enter their PIN to verify payment.
When customers use their girocard online, they are redirected to their online banking portal and asked to enter their password. Then, they'll be able to authorize their purchase. They can also choose to save their credentials in order to make future purchases even faster.
Girocards are accepted almost everywhere in Germany, as well as many other European countries. They are not widely accepted outside of Europe, and their use online is more limited than other common digital payment methods.
Girocard encrypts user information when sent from their browser to the merchant's web server, so no one else can access it during transit—or even after it has been stored on the merchant's servers for later use (such as when you're checking out).