As far as I know the customers of the german Post (which have an account
at the "Postbank") are able to get money in many other countries around
Europe and mediteranean Africa. This does not work on all countries
(for example last year the greek post offices did not accept german post
account books, I don't know if this changed this year).
Maybe it is the same with the finnish post...
Zentrum fuer Graphische Datenverarbeitung,
Darmstadt / W. Germany
E-mail: sa...@zgdvda.uucp or sa...@agd.fhg.de
I was pleasantly surprised in the last few weeks to discover that I
can finally use my ATM card to withdraw money from my (Co-op Bank)
current account from machines in France and Belgium. It didn't always
work (perhaps only 9-5?) but it's certainly an improvement to be able
to do in Europe something that's long been possible in the US and
I wish that I could do in the US what I have been able to do in Europe:
with my French EuroCard (which is affiliated with the MasterCard network),
I can go to almost any ATM in almost any bank in any country in Europe,
and get money in the local currency.
When I try that in the US (after spending several days trying to find an
ATM that accepts VISA/MASTERCARD, and not just the bank's local ATM),
i ALWAYS get the message "can't connect to your bank" or
"network unreachable" or some equivalent message.
The difference is that in France and in Europe, the banks co-operated to
set up a bank card (i.e. credit card) system that was useful for the
customers, rather than trying to set up a system whose first goal was
to make them as much money as possible. The cards are multi-national,
multi-bank, and all the card networks are inter-connected for purposes
of verification (e.g., card stolen, over credit limit). There is also a
much more choice in the terms of the cards. Since you can go to any bank
to get a card that can be used anywhere in Europe, you pick the bank that
has the best conditions. My bank lets you choose your between:
- credit card or debit card (either credit, or the money is automatically
debited from your account)
- if a debit card, whether you prefer it to be debited immediately, or
at the end of the month.
- whether you want a card only valid in France (this one costs 50% less,
because they don't have to deal with EuroCard/MasterCard).
- let's you pick your own credit limit (When I moved to the US for 2
months, I upped my credit limit to $10,000 a month. Try and do that
with VISA in the US !!)
I'll skip the fact that my checking account is free, and that it earns 7%
interest as well, to try and keep the posting short. One of these days,
the US will catch up, but i'm not holding my breath. And now that I can
open a bank account in, or loan money from, ANY European bank (thanks EEC !),
things should get any better.
B. of A. (Bank of Apartheid :-) customers, eat your heart out !!!
I guess that's a problem with your bank. I have used both my Access
(~= Mastercard) and Visa cards in US ATMs.