Bonn's banks and savings banks (Sparkassen) offer services to meet all of your banking needs, including 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.
To open a current account (Girokonto), you must provide proof of identity. You may have your statement printed (Kontoauszug) at any branch or your monthly statements can be posted to you. 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, an "Überweisungsformular".
- "Dauerauftrag" - standing order. You may authorise a fixed amount to be transferred to another account at regular intervals, for example to pay rent or utilities.
- "Lastschriftverfahren (Einzugsermächtigung)" - debit procedure. You may authorise a party to withdraw a variable amount from your account, for example to pay utilities or telephone bills.
- "Euroscheckkarte": You may use the Euroscheckkarte (ec-Karte) to draw cash from automatic teller machines. Most shops accept the Euroscheckkarte like a credit card.
Many banks offer online services, and some do so in English. Online banking is available in English and Turkish at Sparkasse Bonn, for instance.
Please note that credit cards are not universally accepted in Germany. Many food stores and restaurants accept cash only. A savings account (Sparkonto) earns - depending on the sum - about 1-2.5 % interest annually. For other possibilities of deposits, contact your banking institute.