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Deutsche, Commerzbank hike Paydirekt stakes as peers drop the shared platform

Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG have taken over another 11.11% stake in the German banking sector's shared payments platform Paydirekt after 12 other banks withdrew from it, Handelsblatt reported Jan. 6.

Paydirekt has confirmed the transfer of the stake, saying it was equally divided between Deutsche and Commerzbank, Handelsblatt said. The two banks now hold stakes of 16.67% each in the payments platform.

All banks that left the service are from the private commercial banking pillar of the German banking system. State-owned savings banks and cooperative banks own the rest of Paydirekt.

The platform, launched in 2015, was meant to combine payment services across all three German banking system pillars and become a local competitor of U.S.-based PayPal Holdings Inc. However, the recent withdrawals put the future of the platform into question.

Furthermore, banks across all three German pillars have launched talks on another payments project, under the working title X-Pay, which will not merely combine their payments services on one platform but create a joint payments system for the whole sector, Handelsblatt reported.