The European Parliament has decided to introduce the basic account between the start of 2016 and September 2016 at the latest. A non-discriminatory application should then legally be possible for every EU citizen.
To date it has not been possible for every citizen to obtain a current account in Germany. There had to be fullfilles some condition until the end of 2015:
Stipulation of the permanent place of residence
In order to personally identify yourself, production of an identity document containing your surname, forename, address, date of birth and a biometric passport photograph
Proof of creditworthiness/solvency.
To date there has been no legal right to a current account in Germany! Salary payments, welfare benefits, rent payments, etc. become a problem for affected persons. With effect from 2016, however, EU citizens will have a national right to a current account through the basic account.
What does a basic account include
Objective of a basic account is to fundamentally allow the holder to take part in cashless payment transactions. This will probably involve a current account on a credit basis. You can therefore dispose of the money which is actually in your account.
The basic account will enable you to
– make deposits and payments (salary payments, receipt of welfare benefits, etc.),
– transfer money and make payments by direct debit (rent payments, invoices, etc.).
The cash card with the basic account
You will normally receive a cash card (Maestro or giro card) with your current account.