On-line credit card payments just got more complicated

Credit cards - ©iStockphoto.com/zentiliaPaying with a credit card when buying things on-line has become a part of life on the internet.

A few years ago credit cards were not particularly popular in Germany, and many shops still do not take them.  Many people only have them for ordering goods on-line, so they do not get that much use.

One of the main reason for their popularity is probably the fact that it is considered safe, because if something goes wrong you can call the credit card company and get their help to sort it out.  This makes it better than a bank transfer, cheaper than ordering something to be delivered as “Nachnahme”, and avoids giving out bank account details for a direct debit payment.

Of course, the credit card companies have an interest in making their system safe, [Read more…]

Leasing a car in Germany (and why you might want to)

Ford FocusMany companies in Germany who provide their employees with company cars do not actually buy the cars outright, instead they prefer to lease them and my company car is no exception.

By leasing the car, I pay a monthly fee to a leasing company, often a bank, who have purchased the vehicle from my usual dealer.  That fee allows me to drive the car up to an agreed number of kilometres each year.

And when the lease runs out, I just return the car to the dealer and can lease a new one.

Buy why not buy the car outright as a business and then sell it again later? [Read more…]

What are the different types of TAN?

Laptop with card reader - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / MultiartMost banks in Germany that offer personal home banking use a system called PIN/TAN.  Account holders log into their accounts using either a username or their account number with a PIN (Persönliche Identifikationsnummer).

After that, to carry out any form of transactions, a TAN (Transaktionsnummer) is use.

Over the years, the system has tried to cope with the growing number of phishing attacks and security problems, meaning that there are a number of different TAN systems in use. [Read more…]

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