Opening a Bank Account
If you are going to be staying in Germany for a longer period of time and you will be receiving a steady wage or a grant and have to pay rent, it is wise to open a current account with a German bank as soon as possible. You can open this type of account at every bank or savings bank (Sparkasse). In order to do this, you need your passport or ID card and the registration certificate from the Resident Registration Office to prove that you are a resident of Bochum. Some select banks also require your residence permit which is issued by the Foreign Citizens’ Office.
- Banks and Savings Banks ("Sparkassen")
There are hardly any differences between the banks with regards to the offers and services they provide. However, they do differ in the charges you have to pay, so it is advisable to check in advance. You will be given a debit card called a Eurocheque (EC) card (“Euro Cheque-Karte” in German) for your current account, enabling you to withdraw money from a cash point. This service is free if you use cash points belonging to your own bank, but incurs charges if they are from others.
- Transferring money
Transferring money between countries can be expensive. You should enquire about the terms and conditions in advance at your bank in your home country, and possibly choose a bank in Germany that cooperates with yours.
Partly translated by: Dr. Lynda Lich-Knight, ResearchComm Ltd.