Why is my ATM card not working

Bet you don't know what your debit card can do?

First of all: although most people call them that, the good old debit card is actually no longer called that. As early as 2007, the name was abolished by the German credit industry in the interests of standardization. Since then it has officially been called Girocard.

This is what the symbols on your Girocard mean

Take a look at your card and check the symbols on it. You will be surprised what hidden functions it has.

Numeric keypad logo

The symbol stands for Girocard and means that you have a debit card.

With it you can withdraw cash at ATMs in Germany and pay in shops - by entering a PIN at a terminal or by signature. The amount will then be taken directly from your bank account.

Maestro or Vpay logo

If you find the symbol of the credit card giant VISA (Vpay), you can use it to pay with your Girocard in Germany, the EU and some neighboring countries such as Greenland or Israel. The Mastercard (Maestro) logo even guarantees that you can get money all over the world.

There may be costs abroad

In Germany, withdrawals are free of charge - but only if you can find your own ATM or one from a partner bank. If you need cash abroad, there are often fees that can vary from bank to bank.

Girogo logo

More than 21 million German Girocard customers also have the Girogo logo on their cards - or the reference to “contactless payment”. What hardly anyone knows or uses: For two years now, cards equipped with this function have been able to pay amounts under 20 euros contactlessly without having to enter or sign their PIN.

The card is no longer pushed into the terminal, but just held on top. The beeping after just one second means that the payment was successful.

However, by no means all card readers are equipped with this function. However, all old terminals must be replaced by 2020 - EU decision. The preparation is also a bit cumbersome at the moment: Girogo works like a cash card, which means that it has to be topped up before you can use it to make contactless payments. Maximum amount: 200 euros.

But even that should soon no longer be necessary: ​​The German credit industry is currently working on the "Girocard contactless", a new contactless payment method. There is then no need to top up the card beforehand. For amounts under 25 euros, you can only pay contactless by stopping; for amounts above that, you can also enter your PIN. The two large German banks Sparkasse and Raiffeisenbank want to be able to offer this service to their customers in 2016.

Money card logo

Girocard owners without the Girogo logo can now pay small amounts with the cash card function - almost every card in circulation is equipped with it. The card is intended to serve as a substitute for change at more than 420,000 acceptance points in Germany.

After topping up (max. 200 euros, online or at ATMs), small amounts can be paid in canteens, at cigarette machines or in stadiums by inserting the card (without a PIN or signature).