Banking - only English version
Your home bank might have alliances with some of the main Austrian banks: check that out first, some transactions might be easier and eventually cheaper (money transfers for instance). If not, you might want to look for one that is present in your home country or one that offers efficient email and/or homebanking services to help you when back home.
Each bank website offers a search tool that helps you find the nearest branch to your location. Look on the bank web site for keywords like 'Branch Search' or in German Filialesuche or zu Ihrer Bank. You will be requested to enter your location for the search: enter an address, a city or city area name or area code or 'Postleitzahl' (also PLZ). The search engine will propose you a few choices with contact info and opening hours.
Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. They close for lunch breaks. Opening hours differ from bank to bank and from branch to branch. Check them before going there in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Opening hours are usually indicated together with branch search results. Make an appointment by phone for the first visit.
24 hours service:
ATM machines, statement printer, night safe, self-service terminal are available 24/7. It is important to know that it often takes Austrian banks some weeks to process applications for ATM cards.
Open an account (Girokonto):
To do so, the following will be required:
- Identity card (such as a driving license or passport)
- if you wish any other persons to have access to your account, they will have to be present as well.
- the bank will only allow you a credit frame after they have seen regular wage income on your account.
What you will get:
- Banking Card with ATM (Bankomat) function, for cash withdrawals from any bank (within all of Europe) and payments in many shops, gas station, supermarket etc.
- Credit Card (VISA; AMEX; Mastercard), if requested
Methods of payment:
Here are the typical transactions you might need during your stay in Austira:
1. Transfers within Austria (Überweisung)
Fill in the standard form (Überweisungsauftrag) available at your bank :
- recipient (Empfänger)
- account number (Kontonummer)
- name and number of branch (Name und Sitz des Kreditinstitutes)
- amount (Betrag)
Sign it and give it to the clerk. This is the most common method of payment besides cash. Please note that charges might apply depending on the recipien's bank.
2. Withdrawal authorization (Einzugsermächtigung)
This is a method for withdrawing a large amount of cash. Your bank will need the same information as for transfers (see above). Note that for very large amounts, your bank might require a few days notice.
3. Standing order payment (Dauerauftrag)
This is for instance a common method for monthly rent payments or any regular payments. Your bank will need the same information as for Transfers (see above) and the date of first payment. Do not however forget to cancel this order on time once not needed anymore!
4. International transfers
You can transmit funds from your home account to your Austrian account. Check with your bank representative. Plan ahead since overseas transactions are not "immediate" and can take several days or weeks before your account is credited. For international transfer you will need the BIC and the SWIFT or IBAN code from the receiving bank.
5. Credit Cards
They are widely accepted, especially in airports, hotels, car renting offices and all travellers' usual places. However don?t expect to be able to pay your groceries everywhere with credit cards. Check the terms and conditions of your credit card, whether company or private card. Especially the 60 or 90 days payment terms are very strict. Checks are not commonly used in Austria any more. If you fail to pay at the deadline, not only this one credit card will be blocked, but eventually all the others too (company and private credit cards).
The 'Erlagschein' or 'Zahlschein' is a form of payment often used for paying after receiving goods or services (e.g. special medical treatments and also goods purchased by mail order). It allows transferring an amount you specify to the account of the issuer. You can do the transfer at your bank. You will get half of the 'Erlagschein' back as a proof of payment.
Other bank services
- loan requests can be made at your bank
- safe deposit boxes (Schließfächer)
- all major foreign currencies
- traveller's checks in EUR or US$
Austrian banks charge you for different services and transactions. Most of the banks offer a constant charge per month which includes all transactions, cards etc. It is best to discuss with a bank representative just what services you will be requiring and how much the service will cost.
Source: internet, bank representatives