Products from banks and Bausparkassen
You can find a preliminary introduction to bank and Bausparkassen services here. We briefly introduce the most important products and answer frequently asked questions on them. If you need further details, you can call the BaFin consumer helpline.
A current account is an account used to transact regular non-cash payments. It is with this account that customers e.g. are paid their monthly wages and salaries. They can also use it to make payments for rent, power bills and similar bank transfers.
Basic payment account
Since the introduction of the German Payment Accounts Act (Zahlungskontengesetz – ZKG) on 19 June 2016, all consumers legally residing in the European Union have been entitled to hold a basic payment account. This includes persons without a permanent place of residence and asylum seekers. Persons without a residence permit who cannot be deported due to legal or factual reasons (persons with a suspension of deportation) are also entitled to hold such an account.
Girocards and credit cards
You generally receive a girocard (debit card) from the bank where you have your current account. Payments made with this card are debited directly from your account. With a credit card, the payments made are added up and taken from your account on, for instance, a monthly basis. Other forms of credit card exist as well, however.
Personal credit line & overdraft facility
A personal credit line is a line of credit that a bank grants to a customer. The level of this credit line is based on the regular payments into the customer’s current account, particularly from salaries. Similar to a personal credit line, an overdraft facility is a charge to an existing account that exceeds the credit balance.
Home savings (Bausparen)
The purpose of home savings (Bausparen) is to save up to purchase or maintain (renovate, extend or modernise, etc.) residential property. In Germany, only building and loan associations (Bausparkassen) are authorised to conduct home savings business. For this purpose the building and loan association organises the pooling of many different savers into a special-purpose savings association (Zweckspargemeinschaft).
updated on: 20.07.2017
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