Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) confirmed his plans to introduce the payment card in the federal government even without regulations. “Unfortunately, anyone who waits for the federal government will hope in vain,” he told “Bild”.

The Parliamentary Managing Director of the Green Party, Irene Mihalic, sees no reason to secure the introduction of payment cards for asylum seekers through a federal law. “I honestly don’t understand why there is an argument about something that has long been legally possible and just needs to be implemented,” she told the editorial network Germany (RND).

“Payment cards have been issued in Hamburg since Thursday, and in Bavaria the payment card should start in two weeks. Hesse could also just get started,” said Mihalic. The states have all the legal options they need, “and they are apparently being used.” This has been discussed in the coalition and has also been represented by the Chancellery for months.

At the weekend, media reports caused a stir that the Greens were supporting the legal adjustments agreed upon for the nationwide introduction of payment cards. Planned changes, for example to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act, are again up for grabs, reported the “Bild”.

In November, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) agreed with the heads of state governments to introduce the payment card. At that time, the states were given the task of developing “national minimum standards” for the map, and the federal government was supposed to support them in this. At the end of January, 14 of the 16 federal states agreed on common standards for payment cards. With this, refugees should receive part of the benefits they are entitled to as credit instead of in cash.

On Thursday, Hamburg was the first federal state to announce that it had started issuing the card. Several other federal states have also already initiated the issue.