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Direct debit: Verdict against Deutsche Bahn

ECJ agrees with VKI

The German train operator Deutsche Bahn AG can't limit payment via SEPA direct debit to consumers resident in Germany. This was currently decided by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a ruling.

The Austrian Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) had - on behalf of the Austrian Ministry for Consumer Protection - sued Deutsche Bahn. The reason was a clause according to which the payment by direct debit was only possible for those consumers who have a residence in Germany. In the opinion of the VKI, this regulation violates the SEPA Regulation of the EU.

The ECJ confirmed the opinion of the VKI. The Court also stated that it is not relevant whether customers have other payment methods to choose from. If a customer wants to pay via SEPA direct debit, this may not be subject to the condition that the bank account is kept in a certain member state.

More information on the verdict in German language is provided on the VKI legal department's website: www.verbraucherrecht.at

For the full verdict in English, please visit the ECJ's website: CURIA - Case C‑28/18

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