Perhaps, if you have been to Germany, you have noticed that it is not often to pay with a card, not because there is no terminal, but because some EC-card is required of you. Today we will talk about what this EC card is, where to get it and why your card does not fit.
Let’s start with the decoding: “EC” – “Electronic Cash” (“electronic money”). If you don’t go too far into uninteresting details, then just say that in Germany there is a single network that unites almost all banks and ATMs – Girocard. By opening an account in a German bank, you will most likely open Girokonto. This is a bank account that holds money (that is, not a credit account) and you don’t receive a percentage for it. Opening a salary card or, just a student bank account, you open a Girokonto. For example, students open a special “junior” account, for which there are restrictions on using money for a day, a week, and a month.
To such an account you get a Maestro / Cirrus card from MasterCard or V PAY from VISA. “EC” is written on the same map and you can pay it anywhere in Germany.
At an ATM, you can withdraw money from any card (only you need to carefully monitor the interest that you are asked for). If you want to withdraw money from an EU card, then you need to find an ATM with the EU card logo. There you can accurately withdraw money without interest. The rest can charge quite large amounts (up to 5-6 euros). But, since most of the cards are EU, then ATMs supporting this system are everywhere.
Naturally, Electronic Cash payment system combined with other international payment systems and such a card can be used worldwide. It makes sense to get yourself such an EU-card – to open an account in a German bank, if you plan to be in Germany for a long time. Moreover, it is almost always a prerequisite. For the opening of a student visa, for example, an account in a German bank is suitable only. Like many other cases. If you are just a tourist, then you will have to accept that your card can not be received much where.