German Bank Terminology

In Germany, a bank account is essential for everything from paying rent to paying monthly phone and internet bills.

Therefore, when you live, work or study in Germany, you will need to use the terminology of German banks.

German Bank Terminology
German Bank Terminology
bankdie Bank
bank accountdas Bankkonto
Bank Balanceder Kontostand
Bank Bookdas Bankbuch
Bank Feesdie Bankgebühren
Bank Transferdie Bankratte
Bank loandas Bankdarlehen
Bank Managerder Filialleiter
Bank Memorandumder Geldschein
Bank rateder Diskontsatz
Bank statementder Bankauszug
Bank transferdie Banküberweisung
Bounced checkder geplatzter Scheck
Verifyder Scheck
Checkbookdas Scheckbuch
Credit balancedas Guthaben
Credit Carddie Kreditkarte
Credit Facilitiesdie Darlehensmöglichkeiten
Current Accountdas Girokonto
indebteddas Soll
Debit balanceder Soll-Saldo
Depositdie Einzahlung
Deposit accountdas Einlagenkonto
Direct Discountdie Abbuchung
Exchange Officedie Wechselstube
Exchange rateder Wechselkurs
Finance/Tax Lawdie Abgabenordung
Fixed exchange ratedie feste Rate
interest rateder Zinssatz
Joint Accountdas gemeinsames Konto
Non-resident accountdas Ausländerkonto
Overdraftdie Kontoüberziehung
Pay in a slipder Einzahlungsbelag
Payment voucherder Einzahlungsschein
Participatedie Aktie
partnerder Aktieninhaber
Permanent Orderder Dauerauftrag
You get a mortgageeine Hypothek aufnehmen
Traveler's chequesder Reisescheck
Variable rateder variabler Zins
German Bank Terminology

11 golden words from bank terms in Germany

11 golden words from bank terms in Germany

Konto (account)

As is usual everywhere these days, we have two main types of bank accounts to deal with in German, a savings account (Sparkonto) and a current account (Girokonto).

Ich möchte ein Konto eröffnen.
I would like to open an account.

Formular (model)

When you have to fill out a form, bank employees may tell you the following line:

Bitte füllen Sie diesesFormular aus.
Please fill out this form.

How to learn German from scratch

Geldautomat (ATM)

If you want to inquire about the location of the ATM – something every traveler has to do at one time or another – you can ask:

Wo ist das Geldautomat, bitte?
Where is the ATM please?

After being directed to the ATM, there will be a large number of German words and phrases on the screen. Sure, you can choose the English version of the ATM text – if there is an English version available – but why not improve your German language skills while verifying your account?

Here are the German phrases that are good to know when operating an ATM:

  • Bitte geben Sie Ihre Karte ein. Please enter your card.
  • Bitte geben Sie Ihre Geheimzahl ein. Please enter your confidential/unique PIN.
  • Geld abheben. Withdrawal of funds
  • Geld einzahlen .Deposit funds
  • Geld überweisen. Money Transfer
  • Kontoauszug ausdrucken. Print the statement of account

Note: As you already know, you can "name" a German verb in a noun by adding a suffix –ung, usually these nouns are feminine.

Therefore, verbs such as überweisen (to say), abheben (to withdraw) and einzahlen (to deposit) can also be displayed as names on the screen of the ATM, appearing as follows:

  • Überweisung (transfer)
  • Abhebung (Withdrawal)
  • Einzahlung (Deposit)

Construction terminology in German

Unterschrift (signed)

Wherever this word exists, this is where you'll need to register your name in a form. You may hear someone say:

Bitte unterschreiben Sie hier.

Sign here, please.

Zinsen (benefit)

Interest rates in Germany are fairly low, so don't make saving a very profitable option! However, you may get a rare repetition of this word while signing up for a bank account or credit card – just pay attention to the numbers you see it with.

Dauerauftrag (permanent order)

This setting is required to pay your monthly bills such as rent, electricity, smartphone, and internet. If you want to set up live payments for a certain period of time, you can use the following statement:

Ich möchte einen Dauerauftrag einrichten.

I would like to arrange a permanent order.

Kredit (loan)

Unlike appearances, Kredit does not translate directly into "credit" in English – it is the German word that means "loan".

This pair of words Kredit and "Credit" are the pair of "false friend". Fake friends are a pair of words in two different languages that look similar, but have completely different meanings.

If you want to get a loan from a German bank, you can use the following phrase:

Ich möchte einen Kredit bei der Bank aufnehmen.

I would like to get a loan from the bank.

Zahlungsart (Payment Method)

In this modern era, the three most common payment methods to know are: Bargeld (cash), Kreditkarte (credit card) and EC Karte (debit card).

Kasse (cash net)

These are keywords you should be familiar with. When you are in a mall, you may be asked to pay at the cash counter.

Kleingeld (small change)

Getting spare parts is not unusual in Germany either. Most often, a small change of 500 euros and 100 euros is required, as people in stores tend to resent such large categories of money.

Bankleitzahl (Bank Identification Number/Code)

This may be mandatory to know when internal and external money transfers are made. Your bank code (or BLZ) is an important part of the information you should know, along with other details such as the IBAN which stands for Internationale Bankkontonummer (International Bank Account Number) and is used for international transfers.

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