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ADVICE #110

How to release a debit card in Germany?

Germany has its own system of debit cards ec-card (Electronic cash - electronic cash). It is a debit card, which is functionally similar to MasterCard Maestro. They can be produced separately or in combination with a MasterCard Maestro (essentially two cards in one). The card EC issued by banks is free of charge as an "access key" to the current account and can be used at stores and to withdraw cash from an ATM. Moreover, in many cases, you may use only this card, classic cards of international payment systems are not accepted in many German shops or reluctantly accepted (especially when small purchases). The second "special" payment system in Germany GeldKarte ("cash card", similar to a prepaid card). It differs from others by the fact that the amount of money available to the client, stored on chip directly on the map and their transfer does not require confirmation from the Bank. Moreover, some of these cards are available at all without opening an account. Replenishment GeldKarte possible through the Internet, ATMs or payment terminals. Typically, such cards are used for small purchases or pay for Parking (the average amount of retirement - about 3 Euro). These cards are used to confirm the age of their owner (for example, when buying cigarettes), e-pass, e-ticket for transport, EDS, etc. Both types of cards are usually free of maintenance, but their completion (in some cases), or withdrawals in a "foreign" ATM fees may apply, and all relevant conditions are better to know in advance in the Bank. Any special additional steps to obtain debit cards are needed if the Bank opens to the client the current account, and the card will be issued. The only feature: it is necessary to monitor the relevance of the address specified in the Bank documents, and because the cards and pin codes to them should be sent only to this address. The term "debit card level Classic" or the more Gold in Germany and if it occurs, it is extremely rare: in most cases, anything above Maestro, works like a credit card and is accepted only in a very limited number of stores in the country.

Германия

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