Paying with a bank card Information about Bundes-Bank. In easy-to-read format.

Man shopping at a kiosk

You often pay with banknotes or coins.
At the news stand, for example.


Bank card

But sometimes you pay with a bank card.
Then you don’t use coins or banknotes.

At the till in a shop, for example.


Person standing at the till

It works like this:

You want to buy something.
Shoes, for example. You take the shoes to the till.


Amount displayed in large figures at the till

The sales assistant enters the price.


Card reader

You type in the PIN number for your bank card.
Your PIN number is secret.


Person collecting a bank statement from the cash machine

Your bank takes the money for the shoes out of your account.

You see this later in your bank statement.


Close-up of bank statement

That means you have less money in your account.


The exchange between the banks

Your bank gives the money to the shoe shop’s bank.

The shoe shop’s bank then gives the money to the shoe shop.


Shop owner with statement

The shoe shop now has this money in its account.

The person who receives the money is called the recipient.

In this case, it is the owner of the shoe shop.


Potential payment recipients

But it can also be another person.

A person who you pay money to.
A gardener, for example. Or a petrol pump attendant.


Online banking

You can also exchange money on the internet without using banknotes and coins.

For example, if you buy shoes online.

Exchanging money without using banknotes or coins is called a cashless payment.


Bank building with Bundesbank sign

In Germany, the Bundesbank takes care of cashless payments.


Map of Germany

The Bundesbank supervises cashless payments in Germany.


Map with arrows from Germany to other countries

And the Bundesbank arranges payments to other countries.

To Italy, for example.

Or to France.



A payment from Germany to a country very far away usually takes a little longer. For example, to Brazil or to Australia.

Illustrations: © Reinhild Kassing