This is a German site which supports direct bank-to-bank transfers. Looks like it’s working in 5 countries:
I can’t find a trace of UK or Italy in the setup, even though it’s mentioned on their web site. My impression is that this service is still very young – the “Payment Network AG” company behind this was registered last October. But the good news is that their support is responsive and effective, by email as well as by phone.
One benefit for customers is speed: I get immediate notification, avoiding the usual 1..3 day delay normally involved with bank transfers. The other benefit is convenience, since you can complete the payment as part of the order, instead of having to switch to your online bank account and manually copy all the relevant info.
The benefit for me is lower cost: a third of what PayPal charges (it does add up: VAT, payment/bank/shop fees).
The thing with this sort of service, is that it’s very hard for me to get an impression of how well it works in practice. I did a “test payment” while setting things up, but that’s a weak approximation of the whole process when using it for real, and I can only do a more realistic test with my own country and my own bank account.
So if you ever feel an uncontrollable urge to order something from the JeeLabs web shop (yeah, I know, it’s unlikely) and live in one of the above-mentioned countries, then please feel free to give this a go:
The name is in German (Sofort Überweisung), but the page will be in English by default (all pages are available in multiple languages by clicking on the flag – top right).
Please feel free to email me with anything odd (or neat) which comes up, especially if it doesn’t work as expected of course. I can easily cancel an entire transaction if things get really out of hand.
But with a little luck, life will simply have become one notch simpler with this new option – for everyone!