Fees of SOFORT
There are no extra fees involved when using the SOFORT banking services, other than your own personal banking fees levied for transactions, should you have any. In fact, around 20% of merchants will grant you a discount for opting to use SOFORT banking services, due to its safe and instant transaction times. The safety procedures put in place result in the peace of mind of both consumer and client, thereby producing an atmosphere for rewards all round.
According to a study done in 2012 by EHI Retail Institute, SOFORT is the online payment method least likely to accrue payment charges by merchants. Hard to believe that such an outstanding and secure service would be offered to the public for free.
DEPOSITS AND CASHOUT TIMES
Payments that are made through SOFORT banking are settled in real time with instant clearances.
There is no savings pocket, therefore no cashouts are necessary. SOFORT is purely an online payment solution. Cashouts would have to be done by some other means.
Once a transaction has been made, there is unfortunately no way of cancelling the payout to the merchant. A resolution would have to be made with the retailer should a refund be needed. They would then transfer the refunded amount directly into your personal bank account.
Highly secure measures have been put in place by means of:
Multi-level authentication processes and one-time validity of the confirmation code.
Entry of your online banking details and confirmation codes occurs on a secure payment form of SOFORT GmbH, away from the access of merchants.
Sensitive information like login details etc are not stored.
Below is a list of the security certificates awarded to SOFORT banking:
Payments system verified to be safe and secure by Trusteer’s online banking security solution, Trusteer Rapport.
“Approved Data Protection” from TUV Saarland.
“Approved Payment System” from TUV Saarland.
The Information Security Management System (ISMS) is verified by TUV Sud according to ISO 27001.
“Norton Secured” powered by Symantec.
Since its inception in 2005, not one fraudulent case has resulted from entering a client's PIN or TAN into the SOFORT systems.
Because there is no set registration or membership account, there are no standard rewards offered by SOFORT banking, although the benefits to using the service are clear:
Up to 20% of SOFORT authorised merchants offer discounts by opting for SOFORT banking as your method of payment.
The fund clearance is instant, resulting in fast access to services and products, with speedy dispatch should goods have been purchased.
Should there be issues with payments coming off of your account, then it would be advised to contact your bank’s customer services department to rectify these issues. You can also contact SOFORT’s support center via email on [email protected], and leave a detailed description of your issue along with your contact details, and a customer care representative shall attend to you.
Issues surrounding deliveries, orders, fulfilling of services and dispatching should be taken up with the merchant that you have opted to use.
SOFORT will be paid by your bank, but you will not need to arrange a thing. You will only need to log on to you banking site via a SOFORT form, which will release the funds to SOFORT, and SOFORT will cover the purchase with the merchant automatically and immediately. So, you only have to concentrate on making the one payment and SOFORT does the rest.
Unfortunately, once purchases are authorised, SOFORT cannot cancel the purchase. You will need to contact the respective merchant to arrange the cancellation of the order, and the refund thereof, which will have to be deposited into your own personal banking account.
History: Klarna - The Mother Company
Klarna are a Swedish E-commerce business that provides online paying methods for online merchants. Their primary role as a company is to satisfy merchant payment claims, and manage customer payments. This aids in assuming the risks for both buyer and seller. More than a third of Sweden’s e-commerce sales is handled by this company of more than 1400 staff members based in Stockholm. In 2014 around $10 billion in online sales was handled by Klarna.
The company was founded by three partners, namely: Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth, and Victor Jacobsen in year 2005, who started their work in Sweden, initially. An investor named Jane Walerud invested in their business and set them up with a team of programmers who would help them build their platform.
Further growth was afforded to Klarna through three more investment injections between the years of 2007 and 2011. These investments included:
Year 2007 - Investment AB Oresund. This paved the way for Klarna to sell their services to Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands within 3 years.
Year 2010 - A San Francisco (Unites States of America) based investor entered the fray and helped Klarna to an increase in revenues of over 80% to over $50 million. It is no wonder that English newspaper, the ‘Telegraph’ labelled the company as one of Europes top 100 most promising tech companies still in their infancy.
Year 2011 - A combined investment from General Atlantic and DST Global to the tune of $155 million saw General Atlantic’s Managing Director, Anton Levy join the Klarna board of directors. This boost led to Klarna acquiring an Israeli company called, ‘Analyzd’, which had already active business in the European market, in Israel, and in the United States. This subsidiary company specialised in risk management and online payments. Its original owner gained his experience working for PayPal.
Years 2012 - 2013 - Klarna started offering services in Austria and Germany. In 2013 Klarna merged with the German company SOFORT AG. This merger came after Karna acquired SOFORT Banking from the majority shareholder, Reimann Investors. SOFORT had been around since 2005, and had lead the way in Europe with their online banking method of payment that guaranteed immediate clearance and safe use for both consumer and client.
Year 2015 - Klarna had 45 million users in 2015 and over 65000 online merchants have made use of the company to run their checkouts. That year saw Klarna breach the United Sates borders to focus its growth on the other side of the sea. It was also in this year that the Minister of Enterprise and Innovation called Klarna one of Sweden’s “5 unicorns”, having been a start-up company that attracted international investments.
By April 2016, Klarna was valued at 2 billion Euros, but co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski stated that he had no intentions to take the business public on the stock market. I imagine that it is wise to leave a winning recipe be; there is no need to tamper with what seems to be working very well.
History of Sofort
SOFORT Banking is a part of a Swedish based group of companies called ‘Klarna’, which has been in business since the year 2005, though it was initially known as “Payment Network” before changing names to SOFORT GmbH. The company headquarters are based in Munich, Germany, and is run by its new CEO and managing director, Marc Berg.
SOFORT works in co-operation with your own bank, but allows you to pay authorised merchants in real time with instant fund clearance.
These services are available in 13 countries across Europe, namely: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and The Czech Republic.
Just about every known bank within the 13 countries supports the payment method. Merely scan the drop-down menu when attempting to purchase to find your bank of choice. There are 22 banks within the United Kingdom alone in support of this payment method.
How SOFORT Banking works:
SOFORT is an online banking method that works on the basis of traditional online banking services.
The advantage of using this service lies in the fact that you do not have to open and register a virtual account, or wallet, as it works off of a direct online transfer from your personal banking account.
When on the merchant payment site, and you opt to fulfil payment via SOFORT, you will be directed away to a safe and secure SOFORT.com online form. Here you will just need to provide your bank’s sort code, and log in details. SOFORT will undertake to secure the funds from your bank and ensure that the merchant is paid in real time, without having to wait for standard clearance times as you normally would have to with bank transfers. This will speed up the expediting of services and goods purchased.
No registrations are needed. All you need to use this service is an online banking profile from your personal bank with confidential login details, and confirmation code procedures.
With more than 150 million successful transactions (now averaging around 2 million transactions a year) in more than 35 000 authorised merchants, SOFORT banking has joined the leaders in online paying methods in Europe.