Banking Matters

In Germany, cash payments still play a large role in everyday life. However, many of your regular payments, such as payments for rent or utilities, can be automatically deducted from your giro bank account (Konto) by direct debit. Usually this is even requiered for rent or other payments.

For this reason, among others, opening a "giro" account (i.e. a current account otherwise known as a standard checking account, into/from which money can be transferred – also from abroad) with a German bank is quite convenient. Individuals can choose between three types of banks: large commercial banks, full-service savings banks (Sparkassen) and credit cooperatives (Kreditgenossenschaft). The last are the smallest of the three, with their offices located in the neighbourhoods of towns and cities in the area. The large commercial banks have introduced more programs for retail customers in recent years to lure them away from the savings banks, which had traditionally been regarded as more consumer-oriented.