foreign currency transactions, securities business, and customer investment advice.
Most credit institutions also offer building loan savings plans, building finance, life insurance, and real estate brokerage services. The post office also offers banking services. All banks are under state supervision. Banking hours are generally 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on workdays with a 1 ½ hour break for lunch. Most banks remain open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and close at 3 p.m. on Fridays. Automatic teller machines provide cash dispensing services to bank cardholders 24 hours a day. Cash withdrawals are usually free of charge as long as the money is withdrawn from the ATM of your own bank. Please note that ATMs from other banks may charge fees up to €10 for each withdrawal. Also, some shops offer to withdraw money for free, if your purchase reaches a certain amount, which is usually around €20.
To open a current account (Girokonto), you must provide proof of identity. Furthermore, a registration certificate is required. The user fees for a current account are usually between 0 and 5€ per month. All banking procedures can usually be done either personally by visiting your local bank, via telephone (“Telefonbanking”) or online. Some German banks demand a so-called “SCHUFA-Auskunft”. It certifies your creditworthiness based on your financial situation. You may have your statement printed (Kontoauszug) at any branch, have it mailed to you or receive it online.
Money can be drawn from the account in a number of ways:
- "Überweisung" - money transfer from one account to another. Completed by filling out the appropriate form (in print or online), called an "Überweisungsformular".
- "Dauerauftrag" - standing order. You may authorize a fixed amount to be transferred to another account at regular – usually monthly - intervals, for example to pay your rent or utilities.
- "Lastschriftverfahren (Einzugsermächtigung)" - debit procedure. You may authorize a third party to withdraw a variable amount from your account, for example to pay utilities or telephone bills.
- "Euroscheckkarte", which is accepted all over Germany and in many places in the EU: You may use the Euroscheckkarte (ec-Karte) to draw cash from automatic teller machines. Most shops accept the Euroscheckkarte like any debit or credit card.
Please note that credit cards are not universally accepted in Germany. Many food stores and restaurants accept cash only. However, due to the Corona pandemic, the acceptance of credit cards has widely increased, even for smaller amounts.
Many banks offer online services, and some do so in English. Online banking is available in English and Turkish at Sparkasse Bonn, for instance.
For possibilities of deposits, and for all terms and conditions, contact your banking institute.
Besides affiliated banks, there are also direct banks that do not maintain branch offices. They solely support their customers by telephone or online. As a third alternative, you can open a multi-currency account such as the TransferWise Multi-Currency Account. This account allows you to transfer and receive money from all over the world in many different currencies.