Whether on “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday”, the Germans are crazy about shopping online. According to the latest statistics, almost seven out of ten Germans buy online. But online shopping is booming not only in Germany but has conquered the whole world over the last few years. Providers like Amazon or OTTO dominate the market, whereby meanwhile each shop, which holds something on itself, also owns an Internet appearance. The reasons are obvious: The shipping is fast, you will find a huge selection of products and thanks to many different payment options, such as the purchase on account, also works the financial settlement without major problems.
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Depending on the shop, you as a customer have numerous payment methods available, which we have briefly listed here:
- direct debit
- Payment by PayPal
- Payment by credit card
- Purchase on invoice
Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, whereby it is the bill purchase, for which the Germans usually decide. Almost 40 per cent of all online payments are thus completed. A purchase on account is not only consumer-friendly and very safe but also offers you the great advantage that you as a customer only have to pay for the goods, if you have already received them. Although the purchase of the bill itself is one of the easiest payment options, there are always uncertainties in the buying process. In this guide, we want to take these doubts and answer the most important questions around the topic.
How does the bill purchase and what benefits does it offer?
There are many reasons why buying on the bill is so popular in online shopping, but the most important thing is that it is one of the safest payment methods available to you as a customer. As a buyer, you only have to pay when you have received the goods. A fraud by the dealer is thus almost completely excluded. Invoice purchase is offered as an option by almost all online shops. The procedure is simple and quick to explain: If you have selected the desired product or products in the respective online shop and deposited them in the shopping cart, you go to the cash register. There you can select “Purchase on account” as the payment method “Invoice purchase” or “Purchase on account”. In the next step, enter your first and last name for later delivery and payment. Afterwards, the goods will be sent to the billing address you specified and will arrive at the customer after a few days, depending on the shipping method.
The payment date when purchasing the invoice
Now you usually have 14 days to pay the bill. This is another great advantage of buying a purchase bill: You have a certain amount of time after the purchase until you actually have to pay for the item. This can be particularly advantageous in the case of financial bottlenecks. The corresponding payment slip can be found in the delivery package. Once you have settled the bill, the payment process is completed successfully. Pretty easy, right? Incidentally, the purchase of an invoice has a key advantage over the prepayment option: you do not have to pay in advance and can, therefore, try out or try on the product before you even pay. But beyond that, the payment method has other advantages, which we have clearly summarized here. For the merchant, buying on account is another way to earn business revenue, but has great potential for risk, especially in terms of a possible default. This is also the main reason why some online stores do not use this payment method.
Advantages for the customer
- There are usually no transaction fees. Depending on the dealer such costs but still for paying with an online payment service – the most famous is probably PayPal – incurred. That is rarely the case.
- The delivery takes place without waiting time in contrast to prepayment
- Normally, you have 14 days to settle the bill
- Very high security
- With a return, you do not have to wait for the repayment. In advance, the money is instead “frozen” once.
- No prepayment necessary
Disadvantages for the dealer
- High Fraud Potential: It is enough to give a wrong name or address and to accept the package under false identity. In this case, it is difficult to get money or goods.
- Increased risk of payment defaults or delays
- Indirect costs for the creation of reminders etc.
The credit check and other requirements when buying on account
Let us now turn to the prerequisites, which are partly put forward by the legislator and partly by the provider, in order to settle a bill purchase. This often includes a so-called credit check with a query from Schufa, which gives your potential business partner access to the so-called Schufa score, which is determined from a series of data. From this, the business partner draws conclusions about your payment behaviour. What the Schufa exactly and where a purchase on account without credit check is possible, you will learn in the next paragraph.
Invoice purchase without Schufa – with which providers is that possible?
While some online shops prefer to rely on an internal credit check on bill payments, a large number of external credit bureaus such as the Schufa attract information. Before we go into the guidebook on which providers a purchase on account without Schufa query is possible, we want to first clean up with a few myths around the Schufa. We explain what this credit reporting agency is for and how the notorious Schufa score is determined. The Schufa (protection community for general credit security) is the largest credit agency in Germany, based in Wiesbaden, Hesse and has existed since 1927. Schufa currently has data on almost 67 million natural persons and more than 5 million companies in the Federal Republic.
Unlike many people think the Schufa is not an authority but has always been under private law. Even if you have always made all the payments on time, you are probably in the Schufa. According to their own statement, almost 90 per cent of all entries in the Schufa are positive and help you with the lending or even the purchase on account. The Schufa score basically provides a forecast of a customer’s future payment history based on the past. The calculation is based on the data that Schufa owns from you. In addition to general things such as name, address and date of birth, this also includes specific financial data such as opening of checking accounts, credit card contracts, current and completed instalment loans, mobile phone contracts and much more.
All stored data can be viewed by you at any time. On the basis of all positive and negative entries, a Schufa score in the range of 0-100, whereby a hundred per cent credit security exists only on paper. The exact calculation of the Schufa score is unknown. Important: The score is not given for every single person. Instead, each one of you is assigned to a comparison group for which the value is determined uniformly. What a single Schufa score says, that we can tell you clearly. For the Schufa has published the following numbers themselves:
- 97.5%: very low risk (for breach of contract)
- 95 – 97.5%: low or manageable risk
- 90 – 95%: satisfactory to increased risk
- 80 – 90%: significantly increased to high risk
- 50 – 80%: very high risk
- below 50%: very critical risk
Provider for invoice purchase without Schufa
The most well-known and important provider, where you can order without invoice from Schufa, is certainly the Internet giant Amazon. Their negative entries in your Schufa play no role. But even in other online shops, purchase on account without external credit check at the Schufa is possible – but some internal inspections are still possible. These include, among others:
- Takko Fashion
- Galeria Kaufhof
- Sports check
- Baby market
- and many more
To order with Klarna: That’s how it works!
In addition to the US giant PayPal, the Swedish service provider Klarna is probably the best-known, independent payment provider. If the online shop at which you order a cooperation with Klarna, you can order on account similar to PayPal with Klarna. Thus, as a customer, you can first inspect the product before you pay, so the dealer also benefits from the cooperation, as it protects against payment defaults. But how can you use Klarna in detail? Well, first of all, you have to open a personal account at Klarna. You will receive a verification code and will be able to access your account afterwards. As with PayPal, you will need to connect a bank account to the Klarna account and will need your IBAN and phone number. Please note: Confirmation of your account can take up to 8 weeks at Klarna.
Now with Klarna, you can make immediate payments and instalment purchases as well as purchases on account. Klarna immediately transfers the money to the online shop where you bought it, while you have 14 days to pay the money back to Klarna. In the one-click settings, you can specify that the amount be debited directly or you decide to transfer the sum yourself. It is pleasant that you remind the Klarna portal in due time of the due payment after 14 days. So you avoid missing the appointment and get into the “Mahnfalle”. A big advantage of Klarna is the customer service of the payment service provider. In a 24/7 live chat, you can always communicate with a co-worker who will help you with any difficulty. Of course, you can continue to contact us by phone to help solve some of the world’s problems.
How to buy on account with PayPal
The US giant PayPal is extremely popular in Germany and has nearly 20 million customers in the Federal Republic alone. One of the biggest benefits you’ll get when purchasing PayPal for PayPal is PayPal Buyer Protection. This ensures that PayPal will refund you about the full purchase amount if the ordered package does not arrive at your home. This also applies to the shipping costs of the return, if the online retailer does not already take over. Even with PayPal, however, applies: Without credit check no account. However, if you are released for the purchase of PayPal bill, you benefit from a wide network of online shops that allow payment via PayPal.
This does not include the other US giant Amazon, where you have to order “classic” on account. The use of PayPal is very simple: you log on to the website and link the PayPal account with your checking account. Then you just have to assign a password and you can start right away. As with Klarna: PayPal pays directly to the online retailer and you have up to 14 days to pay the money to PayPal. Whether this is via a bank transfer, a debit from the account or the credit card works is up to you. At this point we want to show you the most important advantages and disadvantages that you have when purchasing on account with PayPal:
- Large network of cooperating online shops (over 50,000)
- PayPal Buyer Protection
- Fast payment with e-mail and password
- 14 days to pay the bill
- Good PayPal customer service
- No PayPal Invoice without credit check
- Data storage on servers in the US
Billpay and other providers for the online bill purchase
In addition to the already mentioned and most well-known payment providers PayPal and Klarna, there are a variety of other providers, where you can pay on account. One of the better-known providers is the e-payment company Billpay, which is widespread in Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. Billpay is one of the largest payment providers in the German-speaking world, with almost 5,000 cooperating online retailers. Anyone who chooses Billpay as a payment method at a merchant is first checked for his identity, so he has to enter the name, address and other data. Subsequently, the credit check is carried out. If both are rated positively, the order will be processed. Like PayPal, Billpay pays the amount to the merchant first, then you have between 20 and 30 days to settle Billpay’s bill. In terms of data security, the company is in no way inferior to its two more popular role models.
- Billsafe: Billsafe may already be familiar to frequent online shoppers. The German company, which has been part of PayPal since 2010, has specialized in invoice purchases. Anyone who selects Billsafe during the payment process, whose invoice is initially taken over by Billsafe. Then you have 14 days to transfer the money to Billsafe. Thus it offers the typical advantages of a purchase on account. This is associated with high data security.
- Ratepay: Until 2017, Ratepay was still part of the OTTO Group, but now the payment service provider for online retailers is no longer a member of this group. Ratepay provides traders with the necessary infrastructure to make a purchase on account and a payment guarantee. When purchasing an invoice, the goods are shipped immediately and the customer has a fixed period of time to pay the bill.
- Paymorrow: The German company Paymorrow is also a stopover between merchants and buyers when shopping online. In terms of the system, Paymorrow does not really differ from the other payment providers, only the long payment period of 30 days could be of interest to consumers. Of course, you will receive the goods immediately, if you order on invoice.
Buy as a new customer on account and pay
Basically, it is actually possible for almost all major online retailers to pay both as a regular customer and as a new customer on account. Companies like OTTO or Amazon are no exception. The very fact that you are ordering as a new customer, therefore, has no bearing on whether you can make a purchase on account or not. But what makes sure that many consumers still can not pay on their first order in some online shops on account? It’s – again – the credit check. Anyone who has ordered online from a merchant online on account has already passed the exam and can, therefore, shop at this merchant, provided that nothing dramatic changes in the customer’s Schufa score. For every first order of a new customer, an online retailer always checks their creditworthiness.
If the exam is negative, you can not pay on account as a new customer. This happens especially if you have not paid in time or even received reminders from other stores. One exception is often smaller online retailers. There you often only allow existing customers to buy on account because you do not conduct a credit check. Often, however, you gain the trust of shop providers by paying the first bill on time. Thus, in most cases, you can buy on account from the second order.
FAQ: Important questions short and compact answers
Although we are already in our guide to all the important questions on the subject, but some questions scratch the topic only marginally or simply have found no place there. Therefore, we have designed this FAQ section, in which we give short and concise answers to your most important questions.
Purchase on account vs. Installment: What differences exist?
Many online retailers offer you, in addition to the purchase of a bill, the option of instalment buying, which is very popular with many citizens. So you can settle the bill in several small monthly amounts and do not have to settle the whole sum in one fell swoop. Of course, almost all providers pay interest on this payment method, but more on that later. First of all, these two methods have a few things in common: The advance payment is no longer required and until full payment of the reservation of title. However, there are a number of differences that we want to show you in the following table.
Is the purchase on account for returns?
In contrast, to prepay payments, the purchase of an invoice for returns is very convenient and virtually stress-free. Of course, you have your legal right of withdrawal and can make use of it at any time. If the ordered order is defective or not as desired, you can easily return it. Only the shipping costs are not always covered by each dealer, but a large part. Even if not, there is still the buyer protection option that PayPal offers you. In conclusion, we can say that by not paying in advance, enjoying a right of withdrawal, and rarely being left with shipping costs, buying a bill is the preferred method of online shopping returns.
Billing rejected: what now?
There are many reasons why an online store denies you the option of purchasing a bill. These include:
- A negative credit check
- Open invoices at the shop
- Too high a commodity value
Then you are faced with the question: What now? As an option, you always have the prepayment, in which you have to pay the sum in advance. If the purchase is very urgent, but there is no financial resources at the moment, a small loan with favourable interest rates can help. Depending on the provider, different requirements apply when it comes to Schufa queries.