According to a law passed by the E.U. parliament on 12 Dec 2013, every E.U. burgher is going to have a right to have their own giro-type bank account, which have replaced checking accounts.
Twenty years ago, my experience was that checks were regarded with suspicion in Germany while almost every payment and donation was made by filling out bank transfer forms. Your wages were transferred into your account (quickly and for free) and your rent, universal health insurance (incl. dental and medicines), university tuition (about $200/year? mostly student union fees, much of which the student government spent on scholarships for foreign students), public broadcasting fees, &c., were transferred out of your giro account automatically each month after you filled out permission slips for regular automatic transfers. Donations to charities, one-time payments, magazine subscriptions, court-imposed fines: all were paid for twenty years ago by filling out a transfer form and handing it to a bank clerk or mailing it to a company.
The E.U. parliament is creating this right to a giro account because they said you need one to have a normal life there “and no one should be left out because e.g. they are homeless or have financial difficulties.”
The base giro account will be able to make and receive transfers but not be overdrawn. The individual Member States still must approve this law, said ZDF heute journal moderator Heinz Wolf.
(R-r-r-echh t ow! f JEE roe conn toe.)