11th of July, 2005
If my understanding of the German language is as good as I would hope, then it seems that my efforts to obtain a Euro currency bank account in Germany (Frankfurt to be exact) has indeed been successful.
The problem with total confirmation of this fact is that banks like to use a very unclear language, when they say that they would like to do this, or to do that. So there is no fully clear "Congratulations! Your application was successful", or even a "We hate you! Now go away and die some place".
And so between rushing about getting orders dispatched, then I spent quite some time trying to figure out just what this single short letter in the German language was about. My conclusion was that as it seems positive, where it would also explain why they have not returned my stuff yet, then so should details all about my new bank account soon follow.
Here is the letter in question...
Sehr geehrter Herr Fakley,
Sie haben sich mit dem Wunsch an uns gewandt, ein Postbank Girokonto für Sie zu eröffnen.
Nach sorgfältiger Prüfung sind wir zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, das wir von einer Geschäftsbeziehung Abstand nehmen möchten.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen.
Susanne van der Linde
The important section here is the third line down, where this appears to read to me as "After careful examination we came to the conclusion that we would like to have a distant business relationship (with you)". That to me sound positive enough, even though it seems very short, unclear and lacking details on what happens next. A normal bank in other words.
So after many years of trying I can finally now link all my on-line Euro currency collection services to a real Euro currency bank account. And should they make a fuss about I being British means that I cannot make full use of their Euro currency service options, unlike my Euro-zone based rivals, then just like in PayPal's case I am going to LIE!
My former Euro currency account at Citibank was nice, but it is true to say that a Euro currency account within the UK is like an isolated island within the Sterling sea. In other words you cannot do much Euro currency travel, when all the "boats" operate in the wrong currency.
And so at long last I will be able to move the Euro currency around just as easily as I do Sterling. For a price that is a lot cheaper than with Citibank as well.
The only real problem is in now getting money into this account. The problem here is that my Euro funds are stuck with PayPal, where adding this pending bank account to their system will cause them to debit a test value from this account. That cannot happen on zero funds, which means loading it with some small funding first.
I guess that I will soon post them the 10 Euro note that I have here. A bank wire transfer would be too expensive. And a customer wire Euro IBAN payment would be too random to help get this account up and running. Unless someone much desires to be the first customer to send payment to this new account that is?
The addition of this new account at PayPal should be problem free, when they will debit their test value that I will soon be able to confirm on-line. They will then believe that I was born and bred German, where they will also believe that I really do live at the stated address in Germany.
That after all is the only method to be able to link my Euro funding to my pending Euro German bank account. I will certainly add this new bank account as an on-line payment option, just as soon as I have those details myself. Since banks tend to move quickly, then this account could well be fully operational within just one week.
1st of July, 2005
Well here is yet another new month, where this month I decided to add the first new Special Offer in a long time. You can naturally see my Special Offers page for those details.
The latest new interesting development is that I am currently looking to open a new Euro currency bank account. This is following the previous closure of my previous Euro and US Dollar bank accounts, with Citibank here in the UK.
The reason why I closed those bank accounts was that they were proving too expensive, where most of my customers paid me their Euros and Dollars through PayPal anyway. The main problem here is that PayPal, like many on-line services, cannot link to these EUR and USD based accounts here in the UK.
So all my funding was in a different location, where it could not be moved to these now closed bank accounts.
At the current time I am seeking to open a bank account in Germany, with Postbank, where I have just posted off the application form. Since Germany has the Euro as a national currency, then so are on-line services a lot more cooperative concerning adding these bank accounts to their system.
I will have to see if my application is successful, when I have no idea the politics behind opening a bank account in Germany. All I know is that the EU now allows any EU citizen to open a bank account in any EU country. Provided that the bank agrees of course.
The second problem I am currently looking to solve is to link my new German bank account to my PayPal account, where after a short talk it is the case that PayPal are not willing to help any. Their response is that I am only allowed to add bank accounts from either the UK or the US.
Since the EU currently includes 25 countries, then PayPal only allows me to add bank accounts from just 4% of what the EU allows, when based on PayPal's rules I cannot add my German bank account to this service. This very strange, when they have no problems with supporting their German customer's own Euro bank accounts. In other words PayPal is still stuck using the old per country system, which is against the EU's free movement of goods and services idea.
There is however an unofficial way around this, when I can pretend to be German. This is why I have already signed up to their service using a real German postal address. Since on their basic accounts they do not validate these details, in order to see if I really live there, then that is why my special Euro based PayPal account is already loaded with some Euro test funds from my main Cardman account.
So all it needs now is to link in my new German bank account in order to transfer my on-line Euro funds to this account. And once I have done that PayPal will even validate that I am German and remove my account limits! It is a strange idea for them to believe that since I own a German bank account that I must be German, but then they are using the old system.
And so in the future this Euro funding should go...
Customer ---> PayPal Business Account ---> PayPal EUR Account ---> German Bank Account.
This in the end goes to show how stupid the PayPal system currently is, by not allowing me to add such a Euro bank account to their system in the first place. Simply because they want me to live in Germany just to add a German bank account. No doubt they want the extra currency transfer charges, when these funds could not go elsewhere.
Anyway, should my Postbank application be successful, then that is where all your Euro funds will be going to in the future. Should this application fail, then I will just go through the entire German banking system until one bank does take me on. Still, it seems that Postbank does seem to support international customers well.
The only down side of this account is that it will cost me 5.95 EUR a month to support. Not to mention that supporting a VISA debit card will cost another 20 EUR each year, but I also get the first year free.
The good news about this account is why I wanted a bank account based in Germany. Since in Germany between bank transfers are free, then so under EU law does this mean that EUR currency transfers to other EU countries are also free. As Citibank used to charge me £30 a time to do just this, then so do I obtain quite a saving.
So even though this account will cost me 91.40 EUR a year to support, but I save a great deal on now not having to do various forms of expensive transfers the old way. And that is why in the end I decided to proceed.
Apart from the new Special Offer, and this Euro change, then I have just updated all the currency rates once again. Things are currently going well, where lets hope that I soon get my German based bank account.