Account opening fee
A sum to be paid by private or business customers in return for the opening of an account. When the fee has been received, the account application documents are sent to the customer.
The attachment of wage, salary and similar receivables is restricted to the attachable part of the monies on social grounds. The amount of the attachable part is quantified by the annex to section 850c, ZPO, known as the wage attachment table. In the process, the non-garnishable amount is calculated on the basis of the debtor’s maintenance obligations, among other things.
The allowances serve to release the minimum subsistence level. Money transfers, debit entries, cash withdrawals, standing orders and so on can be effected from the allowance. The basic amount is granted for each respective calendar month – irrespective of when the income is received. If the attachment stretches out over several months, the allowance is granted automatically for each month. Any part of the allowance that remains unused is transferred in the subsequent month, but not thereafter.
An increase in the allowance can be obtained simply by submitting relevant confirmations from employers, debtors’ advisory centres and social service authorities (e.g. concerning maintenance obligations and particular social benefits) at the financial institution in question. The original documents must be submitted and they may not be older than one month. A court judgment is required only in exceptional cases.
In cashless payment transactions, the approval of a financial transaction is called an authorisation. As part of the authorisation, the cardholder’s financial institution checks whether the card is a valid girocard or credit card and whether the card’s limit is sufficient for the intended transaction. In the event of a successful authorisation, the vendor can be certain that the authorised sum can be charged to the customer’s bank or credit card account.
Authorisations are triggered by withdrawals at cashpoints or payments requiring the entry of the customer’s PIN number. The sums are reserved immediately and the accounting entry is made later (or perhaps not). Authorisations can be annulled ONLY by the merchant or his/her bank. Otherwise, the sums are approved after:
Banking software is special financial software that makes possible the convenient and secure management of all banking transactions and accounts from home. The Wirecard Bank offers its customers free Windata software. Other banking software can also be used, however.
BIC stands for “Bank Identifier Code”. With the BIC, every bank in the world can be clearly identified and classified.
The BIC is determined by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and is an 8- or 11-digit international bank code for cross-border money transfers.
As the BIC is issued by SWIFT, it is often referred to as the SWIFT code. In conjunction with the IBAN as the international standardised account number, it constitutes the data that are required to identify an account within the framework of SEPA and of the European money transfer that has been valid since 2008 and its aim is to identify a recipient faultlessly – in both domestic and international payment transactions.
The Bank Identification Number (BIN) is used to identify credit and debit cards in the course of routing within the cashpoint networks. The card type used and the card issuer (i.e. the bank that issued the card) can be identified using the BIN.
Although a BIN is internationally valid, other bank identification numbers are used for foreign bank transfers: the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the SWIFT code. The reasons for this are obvious: transfers are mandatorily linked not to a card, but rather to accounts. Apart from that, banks usually have several BIN codes, one for each card type on offer.
It is easy to find out the BIN of one’s own credit card: it comprises the first 6 digits of the 16-digit credit card number.
A business account is a current account including a girocard and online banking access for commercial use. For self-employed entrepreneurs or start-up enterprises it is advisable to handle commercial incomings and outgoings through a separate account for the sake of clarity. In this arrangement, private and commercial receipts and disbursements are kept strictly separate. The distinction between a private and a business account facilitates the documentation and the accounting of the commercial revenues and outgoings.
Card reference account
The card reference account, also referred to as the reference account, serves the loading of a prepaid card and the accounting and settlement of the payments made with the credit card. As the reference account is not a fully-fledged current account, it is not suitable for direct debit procedures.
Card Validation Code/CVC
The CVC is a security feature on Visa credit cards. This verification number is a three-digit combination of numbers that is printed in addition to the credit card number on the credit card’s reverse side.
Charge back denotes the cancellation of a deal or transaction by the owner of the credit card at the issuer bank or credit card company within a period set beforehand. The charge-back period is the period, measured in days, between the date of the signature on the transaction voucher and the date on which the issuer can exercise his charge-back right for the last time.
A charge back is possible if the credit card holder objects to a credit payment being charged to his/her account.
Combined bank transfer
A combined bank transfer is a payment order consisting of several individual money transfers. The ordering party account is charged in a single sum (sum total of the individual orders).
Under obligations law, a creditor is someone who has a claim against someone else, i.e. the debtor. The legal relationship between the creditor and the debtor is referred to as the obligation.
The financial standing of a borrower is known as creditworthiness. In the financial sector, creditworthiness is seen as the ability of an individual person or business enterprises or states to pay back the loans they have taken up (economic ability to repay the loans) and their willingness to pay. In the case of emitters (issuers) of securities, creditworthiness is understood to mean servicing and repaying the emission plus interest. It is from this that the probability of a borrower being willing and able to make the required repayments is derived.
The credit assessment is a procedure with which banks check the creditworthiness of consumers.
In the case of a crossed cheque, it is indicated to the bank drawn upon, by means of the notice “Account payee only” on the cheque, that the cheque is to be redeemed only in the form of account credit. This means that the crossed cheque is to some extent a special form of the bearer cheque, although the latter may not be paid out in cash by the bank drawn upon. The recipient must generally submit the cheque for collection via his bank and into his account for the credit entry of the equivalent value.
The current account is an account that serves, in particular, the handling of cashless payment transactions (debit entries, money transfers or cheques, deposits, withdrawals). It is managed by a financial institution. Payments are posted into and out of the current account. The basis of the current account is a current account agreement between the financial institution and the customer.
Debt collection constitutes the recovery of financial receivables that have fallen due. A debt collection company is a company that asserts outstanding financial receivables vis-à-vis other enterprises or private individuals out of court. In return for a commission, the debt collection company collects debts on behalf of the client. If the outstanding receivable is assigned, the debt collection company takes the place of the original creditor.
Debtor is the term that describes a person who has an obligation to the creditor. The debtor is obliged to render a performance vis-à-vis the creditor. If this is not done within the set period, the creditor usually takes action to recover the debt.
To a certain extent, the direct debit is the money transfer in reverse. The payment recipient instructs his bank to debit a particular amount from the account of the person obliged to pay.
In the banking system, a direct debit is a payment procedure of the cashless transaction variety. This payment procedure is triggered by the payment recipient (a “pull” payment), who does so by charging a payment amount, already determined by the payment recipient, to the account of the person obliged to pay. In the process, the payment order is issued by the person obliged to pay only indirectly via the payment recipient.
In addition, the term direct debit is used generally to describe charging a sum to an account.
Direct debit mandate
With a direct debit mandate, the person liable to pay mandates the payment recipient to demand the agreed sum from the bank account on the due date. The direct debit mandate is also used in electronic trading with consumers.
Direct debit return
see return debit notes
A disposition account is an account into which funds from the remitting account are transferred in accordance with a specific period determined in the contract. From here the funds can be disposed of freely.
E-banking (online banking)
E-banking (also known as electronic banking, online banking or home banking) is the handling of bank transactions from home using the Internet, for example the management of current accounts or the execution of money transfers. The prerequisites of using e-banking are a PC, a smartphone or some other electronic terminal plus Internet access and online access for e-banking. Wirecard Bank’s customers are provided with the following access data: virtual recognition key and personal identification number (PIN).
ec (electronic cash) is a payment procedure in which the buyer pays the purchase price by means of a bank customer card and the entry of the respective personal identification number (PIN) at the point-of-sale terminal.
Cards with the electronic cash logo are issued only by lending institutions, usually in conjunction with a current account. The designation “ec” originates from Eurocheque, a pan-European, standardised cheque payment system in combination with a bank guarantee. Maestro and Visa Electron are similar debit card systems.
The electronic cash acceptance signs are the pictograms “electronic cash PIN pad” and “girocard”. The electronic cash acceptance signs are likewise shown on the debit cards of the savings banks and other banks.
EFT (electronic funds transfer) denotes the paperless transmission of electronically recorded payment data that constitute a monetary value in a particular currency and are accepted by a customer or licensed dealer, or a bank, instead of cash as a means of payment.
Electronic direct debit procedure
The electronic direct debit procedure is a procedure in which the purchaser grants the merchant a direct debit mandate for the cashless transaction (in online trading by confirming the bank data and in stationary trading with a signature or PIN entry). The sum is automatically charged to the consumer’s account and credited to the recipient’s account.
The abbreviation EMV denotes a specification for payment cards fitted with a computer chip and for the associated smartcard readers (point-of-sale terminals and cashpoints). The letters EMV stand for the three companies that developed the standard: Europay International (now MasterCard Europe), MasterCard and Visa.
The main advantages of chip technology, and therefore reasons for using the chip instead of the magnetic strip are:
The express transfer is carried out on the same day or, at the latest, on the next working day after the customer’s order has been processed and credited to the payment recipient within a few hours.
Foreign bank transfer
In a foreign bank transfer, a resident of the local territory transfers money to someone who is not resident in the local territory. In the narrower sense, a foreign bank transfer denotes a transfer from a Wirecard Bank account to an account outside of the SEPA area.
A garnishee under enforcement law is the debtor of an attached receivable. The term “garnishee” serves to differentiate this person from the judgment debtor, who is the creditor in relation to the attached receivable.
In practice, the most important garnishee is the debtor’s employer. In our case, the garnishee is Wirecard Bank AG.
After the attachment order has been delivered, the garnishee may no longer pay out the attached receivable to the debtor (Section 829, German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO)). The garnishee must inform the judgment creditor within two weeks on request about the attachment’s prospects of success by means of the “garnishee declaration”.
If an attachment and transfer order is delivered, i.e. a receivable possibly belonging to the debtor is attached, the garnishee is obliged to make a “garnishee declaration”.
The garnishee declaration must be made within two weeks of the attachment and transfer order being delivered.
In Germany, the garnishee order is a legal institution of enforcement in civil procedure law.
The district court with jurisdiction for the debtor’s place of residence (the court competent for execution) decrees a garnishee order on grounds of an enforceable title. This is delivered by the bank’s judicial officer as the garnishee and then delivered to the debtor. In public law, public authorities can issue garnishee orders themselves without consulting the court.
If a creditor has an enforceable title against a debtor, he can garnish receivables due to the debtor (e.g. bank credit balances, work income, credit balances at insurance companies from life insurance policies, outstanding payments for services rendered, rental income, etc.).
To do this, the creditor must apply for a garnishee order at the district court in whose territory the debtor has his place of residence. If the prerequisites for enforcement proceedings are fulfilled, the judicial officer issues the garnishee order – this bestows legal force on the garnishment and the subsequent transfer of the receivable to the creditor.
Garnishment and collection order
In Germany, the garnishment and collection order is a means of enforcement in the field of administrative or tax law. The garnishment and collection order is issued by the competent executing authority (e.g. tax offices, health insurance funds). It is delivered either with an affidavit of service by the post or by an enforcement officer.
As far as the distribution of any credit balances of the debtor is concerned, the time when the garnishee is served with the garnishee order is crucial. This means that the garnishments are serviced in the order in which they are received by the garnishee.
German Money Laundering Act (GWG)
The Money Laundering Act (GWG) is the German act for investigating profits from serious crimes.
Money laundering means the channelling of illegally earned money and/or assets in general into the legal financial and commercial flows. This illicit money is either the result of illegal activities (e.g. the drugs trade, arms dealing, and in Germany also tax evasion) or is intended to serve the financing of illegal activities.
Money laundering is a criminal offence under both German law and the legal codes of other countries. The combating of money laundering is regarded as an important element in the fight against organised crime.
The online payment procedure giropay was developed within the German banking industry at the beginning of 2006. It is a payment procedure with direct access to German online banking accounts. Giropay offers customers a convenient form of payment and the highest security standards, and traders a payment guarantee of up to EUR 5,000.00 per transaction.
If the customer opts to pay with giropay in an online shop, he is guided securely from the trader’s shop to his bank’s or savings bank’s online banking system, from where the money transfer for the purchase is carried out. The special feature of this is that the trader, immediately after the payment has been made successfully, receives a payment guarantee so that he can immediately make the purchased goods or service available or send them/it.
HBCI (Homebanking Computer Interface) is a standard for communication between customers’ systems and corresponding bank computers for conducting home-banking transactions. It was developed by various banking groups in Germany and adopted by the Central Credit Committee (ZKA). HBCI is a standardised interface for home banking in which transmission protocols, message formats and security procedures are defined.
Wirecard Bank uses HBCI with PIN and TAN.
The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is the bank customer’s standardised international account number for cross-border payment transactions.
In Germany, every IBAN has 22 digits. Internationally, up to 34 digits are possible. The structure of the IBAN is always the same: alphabetic country code (DE), numerical check digit, bank code, account number.
The IBAN was developed in order to improve and/or standardise the payment transaction systems. The international standardisation of the structure comprising test and account data (bank identification plus account identification) makes it possible to open up integration and automation potential for the exchange of data between banks in different countries. In this area, internationally standardised information about banking connections, also for enterprises and private individuals, are advantageous because possible error sources are eliminated.
Anyone who is under the impression that a money transfer took too long or even seems to have gone missing can, as the customer, instruct his bank to place an inquiry order on the grounds that the recipient is complaining about the belated credit entry. Only the customer can initiate the order at his bank because it is virtually impossible to track the order if the tracking does not start “at the source”. The ordering bank then gets in touch with the recipient bank.
Filing for insolvency can lead to insolvency proceedings. The objective of these is either to restore solvency or to bring the situation to an orderly conclusion. This task is performed by an insolvency administrator.
The insolvency administrator administers the debtor’s attachable assets throughout the insolvency proceedings before the court. He ascertains the receivables that are due from the debtor and enters them in an insolvency creditors table.
Another of the insolvency administrator’s tasks is to take possession of the insolvency estate (i.e. the debtor’s assets), manage it and dispose of it. The insolvency administrator also carries out the distribution of the estate to the creditors. He is appointed and supervised by the insolvency court.
Maestro card is a debit card issued by MasterCard International.
Maestro is an international debit card service from MasterCard International. The debit card is a plastic card that allows direct access to the credit balance and/or available credit line in the customer’s current account.
The mobile TAN (mTAN) or smsTAN is a transaction number that is sent by SMS. After a money transfer has been filled out and sent over the Internet, the bank sends the customer an SMS with an mTAN that can be used only for this transaction. The order must then be confirmed with this TAN.
The transfer (either paper-based or electronic) is one of the most frequently used means of payment in Germany. The account holder issues his bank with an order to credit a certain amount of money from his account to a beneficiary account.
In paper-based transfers there is a transfer form with which the customer requests the bank to carry out a transfer.
In the case of paperless transfers, on the other hand, there is no form with which the customer instructs his bank. These transfer details are recorded and transmitted by electronic means.
Notice of garnishment
see temporary freezing of payments
Ombudsman (out-of-court mediation)
For the settlement of disputes with the bank, it is possible to consult the private banks’ ombudsman. Further details are regulated by the “Rules of Procedure for the Settlement of Customer Complaints in the German Private Commercial Banking Sector”, which are made available on request. The complaint must be addressed in writing to the customer complaints unit at the German banking association Bundesverband deutscher Banken e. V. (P.O. Box 04 03 07, 10062 Berlin).
For more information, please go to https://bankenverband.de/service/beschwerdestelle
Every account holder is entitled to have his current account managed by his bank as a garnishment protection account (P-account). A P-account remains a current account that serves normal payment transactions while additionally offering protection from account garnishment: credit balances are protected up to a statutory allowance per calendar month.
The P-account is set up by way of an agreement between the bank and the customer (P-account application). In Germany, nobody may hold more than one P-account. The law provides for a notification about the establishment of a garnishment protection account being sent to the credit investigation organisation SCHUFA, as each person may hold only one garnishment protection account. The notification of a P-account, however, has no effect on the information provided by SCHUFA about the account holder’s creditworthiness. Information about the garnishment protection account is not included in SCHUFA disclosures.
The payment slip is a bank form that is used in the event of a cash payment onto one’s own or a third-party account. The fees are generally considerably higher than those charged for a money transfer. The party requiring a payment slip does not need an account himself.
Many invoices are accompanied by payment slips that have already been filled out, as a result of which the recipient, the invoice amount and the payment reference do not need to be filled out by the customer. In general, these pre-printed forms serve simultaneously as money transfer forms.
In the latest generation of cards, Visa, through the Visa payWave function, offers the option of contact-free payment by holding up the card at a terminal in a retail. As the communication between the card and the terminal is contact-free, it does not even have to be a card. The payWave functionality can also be realised with NFC (Near Field Communication) stickers or smartphones.
The customer authorises the payment by holding his means of payment with the contact-free payment function in front of an appropriate terminal in the retail outlet. The terminal reads the necessary data contact-free and, for its part, confirms the payment procedure with an acoustic and visual signal. The contact-free payment saves time and is easier to administer than all other payment procedures that have been used to date, including cash payment.
Personal insolvency is a simplified form of insolvency proceedings for handling the insolvency of a natural person (private individual). It is designed to give the creditors of an insolvent person equal levels of satisfaction in line with their share of the receivable in question.
Consumer insolvency proceedings are suitable for people who are overindebted. This is the case when the debts are unlikely to be paid off in full with the proceeds from the assets realisable under enforcement law, together with the garnishable sums as per the reasonableness table, during the next six years.
A personal identification number (PIN) or secret code is an important security feature. Once the customer has entered it correctly, he is entitled to use particular services provided by the bank. A frequent use for PINs is authentication at a cashpoint. Here, a number with at least four digits is required to prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to the account – or at least to make this more difficult. The bank card and its associated PIN, too, can be used for cashless payment in many retail outlets.
A PIN is usually required for the use of e-banking as well. This PIN and the account data are enough to inspect the account, the account balance and the most recent transactions.
The POSTIDENT procedure is an identity check carried out by the German postal service provider Deutsche Post. According to the provisions of the German Money Laundering Act (GWG), financial institutions must verify the identity of a customer before concluding a loan agreement or opening an account, for example. This is why the POSTIDENT procedure was established. Deutsche Post now offers different types of POSTIDENT procedure – online or when the customer turns up in the post office in person.
Prepaid credit card
A prepaid credit card is equipped with all the attributes of a conventional credit card. It is a payment card, usually licensed by VISA or MasterCard, that functions on a credit-balance basis.
The term prepaid card is used to describe the use of services via prepaid credit accounts, which is widespread in the telecommunications sector.
The cards can be used only at credit card acceptance points that have an online connection. This is designed to prevent the credit balance from becoming overdrawn. Most cards are not embossed and bear the notation “Electronic use only”.
A promissory note (also known as a borrower’s note or debt security) is a deed issued by the debtor in which the debtor confirms his debt to the creditor. It serves only to make verification easier and does not embody the receivable. It is therefore not a commercial paper.
Debit entries are submitted to the consumers via this account and can be reversed in some circumstances. The credit balance cannot yet be utilised. Upon expiry of a period agreed with Wirecard Bank AG, the sums are posted from the remitting account to the disposition account.
A return debit arises when the customer’s bank cannot or does not want to redeem a debit entry for particular reasons. Reasons for this might be an account not covered for the amount in question, an objection that was entered or incorrect account details.
A scheduled transfer is executed in the same way as a “normal” individual transfer. The execution date, though, must always be indicated. If there is sufficient coverage for the sum in question, the transfer is effected automatically on the desired date.
All consumer loans, account details and “negative” features (e.g. enforcement proceedings, affidavits) are stored at the credit investigation organisation SCHUFA (“protective association for sales financing”).
Banks, mobile communications companies, mail order firms and, increasingly, house and apartment lessors examine before concluding the contract whether there are any notifications about the customer/contracting partner at SCHUFA. After the contract has been concluded, reports on the implementation of the contract, including any problems, are forwarded to SCHUFA if the customer has consented to this (SCHUFA clause).
On request, every citizen can demand that his stored data be made accessible to him (confidential information with costs).
SEPA is the abbreviation for Single Euro Payments Area and refers to the common euro payment transaction zone in which all payments are treated as domestic payments. The SEPA area currently consists of 37 countries (as per 1 January 2015). Wirecard Bank AG has been SEPA-enabled since the system’s launch at the beginning of 2008.
Users of payment transaction services can make cashless euro payments in the SEPA area from a single account within Europe while using standardised payment instruments (SEPA money transfer, SEPA debit entry and SEPA card payments) as simply, efficiently and securely as the payment instruments hitherto used at national level.
SEPA is leading the way in realising a common internal market in cashless payment transactions.
SEPA card payments
The term SEPA card payment refers to card payment that was developed for the purpose of usage within the SEPA system. The idea is that customers should be able to use their cards throughout the common euro payment zone in the same way as they do in their home countries.
SEPA direct debiting
Two European direct debiting procedures were developed in connection with the initiatives to establish a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Since 1 November 2010, all financial institutions in the EU are obliged to support the SEPA direct debiting system (passively, i.e. the seizure of accounts at the institution must be possible).
Thanks to SEPA direct debiting, the collection of due invoice amounts is now possible throughout the entire eurozone.
The SEPA direct debiting procedure is available in two forms:
This differs from a normal direct debit authorisation in several ways: the direct debit authorisation could hitherto be used only in Germany, while SEPA direct debiting is possible throughout Europe. Customers have a period of six weeks in which they can return the charge on grounds of an objection.
The IBAN and the BIC are necessary in order to collect the direct debit.
SEPA money transfers
The SEPA money transfer has been offered since 28 January 2008 for the handling of both domestic and cross-border European payments.
To use this procedure, the bank must have signed the appropriate accession document (adherence agreement) from the European Payments Council (EPC) and converted its systems to the handling of SEPA payments. A current list of the more than 4,400 financial institutions that participate in SEPA is provided by the EPC.
see account opening fee
A standing order is an order to the bank to transfer a specific, unchanging sum of money on regular dates to a specified recipient.
Standing orders are placed once by the customer and can be changed or revoked at any time, but in good time before the next accounting entry, by the customer or an authorised representative.
A standing order makes sense when periodically recurring, identical sums are to be transferred to a specific recipient, e.g. rental payments or payments to building societies.
The standing order is the opposite of a direct debit authorisation, as in this case the transferring party is the active element. Another difference is that the money can no longer be retrieved after the transfer has been made. A recall, on the other hand, is possible as with all money transfers, provided that the sum has not yet been credited to the recipient.
Suspension (of a garnishment)
If the creditor and the debtor agree on the further course of a garnishment, it is suspended. In the process, the creditor temporarily waives payments from the garnishment and sends the garnishee an appropriate explanation. He keeps his place in the hierarchy because the garnishment was not revoked and can reactivate the garnishment if the agreement is not complied with.
If a further garnishment is delivered to the bank, all suspended garnishments are reactivated in line with their places in the ranking. This means that a further garnishment can be suspended only if this happens with the preceding one(s).
The TAN (transaction number) is a commonly used procedure in home and online banking. The TAN is a 6-digit random number.
Each individual transaction between the customer and the financial institution, be it a money transfer or a share purchase, is carried out with its own TAN that can be used only once. After the transaction it is no longer valid.
Temporary freezing of payments
Prior to garnishment, on grounds of an enforceable debt instrument, the creditor may have the notification that garnishment is imminent delivered to the garnishee and the debtor without the assistance of the enforcement court in the person of the judicial officer.
The notification has the impact of a garnishment, in other words seizure by way of legal enforcement with a hierarchy-preserving effect. The debtor is prevented from gaining financial benefit from the receivable, and neither may he dispose of it. As for the garnishee, he may no longer knowingly make a payment to the debtor.
The notice of garnishment takes effect if the final garnishment is effectuated within one month of the notice of garnishment being delivered (Section 845 II ZPO). This means that the creditor must lodge an application at short notice with the enforcement court for the issuance of a garnishee order. The creditor, however, retains his place in the hierarchy that he obtained through the notice of garnishment only if he garnishes the receivable by way of a garnishment order within one month. The notice of garnishment remains ineffective if the garnishment order is not delivered within the one-month period for the provisional freezing of payments. To prevent this, it is possible to repeat the notice of garnishment as often as desired, with the consequence that the garnishment effects are set in motion again.
A cancellation of the transfer (known colloquially as a recall) must be communicated by the transferring party to the bank, which then makes written contact with the recipient bank.
The recipient bank is obliged to credit the amount in question to the beneficiary as soon as the amount intended for him has gone into an account belonging to the bank, provided that there has been no prior cancellation of the transfer. This means, then, that financial institutions may take account of transfer cancellations only if the money has not yet been received by the bank. If the recall was there before the money, it can still be acted upon and the sum in question is transferred back to the sender’s account.
Virtual Recognition Key
The Virtual Recognition Key is a 19-digit alphanumeric code that begins with “VRK” and is generated automatically by the bank’s system. It always remains the same and can be used as an alternative to the account number in conjunction with the familiar PIN number for logging on to online banking.