Europe before Euro Europe before Euro
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Europe before Euro
    
Source :
This Portalino section was created from a document found in 1995 on the Web, named "Money Abroad - Europe". It was copied (with all notices) as it was on the Web site of the Banca di Credito di Trieste (Italy) and then on the site of the Nuova (new) Banca di Credito di Trieste. This banks doesn't exist now and the Netzapping team thought that it's useful to mantain (as it is possible) this document.
Upgrades :
From the original document we add some links, sounds and graphics to complete the information given. We've also divided the long document in one page for every nation of the European Union. We had also published the other nations during the 2000.
Attention :
Take this informations only as an information !! We apologize if some news are outdated. We are searching some persons in the published nations to upgrade the state of the art about finance and banks. If you wish to collaborate, please send us a mail. Thanks and have a nice trip in the Europe before Euro. Bye !

Informations and remarks fron the original document

Last Update: September 1995 by barryb@tuke.sk based on suggestions from msb@sq.com and dagraham@maths.tcd.ie
I am looking for somebody to maintain this archive. I do not have any time left to do it myself. I can provide web space and assistance, drop me a line at Stephane.Laveau@sophia.inria.fr. Sorry for the blink...
This is the `money in Europe' section of the Money Abroad FAQ. It contains general information about the multiple ways of dealing with money when in Europe. It is far from complete. If you have any remarks or questions, please contact Stephane.Laveau@sophia.inria.fr. General information about money abroad can be found in the General section of the Money Abroad FAQ.
``This FAQ may contain outdated or incorrect information, as well as conflicting information where new updates have been added. In updating this FAQ, I have made no effort to verify the accuracy of any previous information, but have merely appended additional information, which I have signed to aid in pinning blame on me. As the information contained herein is subject to change with new developments, no assumption should be made about the validity of anything, although each contributor has supplied information believed to be accurate at the time based on personal experience. Particularly since major changes in the ATM situation have happened in three of the countries I have been in over the past two months, the same is probably true of elsewhere.
``A general overview of the ATM situation in Europe shows that, as one would expect, a card called EuroCard, as well as the EuroCheque card, are widely accepted. The EuroCard is the same as MasterCard, so a tourist with a MasterCard should see it readily accepted. The Cirrus card is associated with MasterCard, and it is seeming that in many countries, the ATMs which accept EuroCard/MasterCard are now having Cirrus added as well. It is likely that some of the old information below is no longer correct, as no mention is made of Cirrus for some countries in which it could be presently useful. Visa and Plus are quickly catching up, but in general have not quite reached the penetration of EuroCard/MasterCard and Cirrus. You should find that the ATMs will usually give you a choice of several languages in which to conduct the transaction, but occasionally you may find some which automatically switch to your language, or if something is not quite right, it chooses the wrong language to talk to you. While most ATMs are multi-lingual, there is a handful which do all transactions in the native language. This really should present no problem, since it should be clear in any language that you are being asked for your PIN, or the amount you wish to receive.
``To repeat the information that is generally applicable to use of an ATM card in other countries, you should make sure that your PIN code is four digits, if possible, because while some ATMs will allow you to enter six digits, some people have had problems with PINs of more than four digits. Also, if your PIN is composed of letters, be sure to find out what the number equivalent is, since not all ATMs you will encounter will have letters. Most importantly, be sure that your ATM card accesses a checking account rather than (or in addition to) a savings account. I have yet to find an ATM in Europe which offers me a choice of what account from which the withdrawal can be made; instead, the default is that all transactions are received by your bank with the request to withdraw the funds from the primary account, which would be the checking account. You simply are not able to access a savings account. You can check this at home (for readers in the United States) by attempting to make a withdrawal from your checking account when the ATM asks which account to use. It is a fact that the transaction you make from overseas at the majority of ATMs arrives at your bank as a request for a withdrawal from your checking account.

``I am also digressing somewhat from the conventions laid out in the General section of this Money Abroad FAQ, in that the following terms are used:
Credit Card refers to a card such as MasterCard or Visa, which can be used for payments with no need for entry of a PIN -- usually a simple signature suffices. The card will bear the Visa or MasterCard logo, but the specifics of the terms for payment of charges will depend on your bank -- there are many possibilities ranging from a line of credit you pay off monthly to a direct debit from your bank account.
ATM card refers to a card with the logos which are commonly seen on ATMs, usually Cirrus and Plus, respectively associated with MasterCard and Visa. Usually a credit card bearing the Visa or MasterCard logo will have an ATM logo printed on the back -- Plus is the ATM network which is run by Visa and Cirrus is operated by MasterCard -- but most ATMs in Europe bear a credit card logo (MasterCard, Visa) as well as an ATM logo (Cirrus, Plus). Also, mention is made of ATMs which accept cards such as Diners Club or American Express. Again, the specifics for your card will depend on your bank and can range from a direct withdrawal from your account to a line of credit. Usually, a small fee will be charged for an ATM withdrawal from any card, even if there is no fee for a purchase made with the same card -- but bear in mind that you can't buy everything with plastic -- it helps to have some cash as well.
I have used the term Payment Card to refer to cards which are used at a merchant with a POS (Point of Sale) link, at which you first swipe your card through a reader to capture the information from the magnetic stripe, then you enter your PIN (as with an ATM) to verify the card -- this differs from a credit card from which the embossed number is taken in combination with an authorizing signature off-line. The networks one finds for this appear to be unique to each country, with some network for all banks' EC (Eurocheque) cards within that country. The international networks which will be of interest to the readers of this FAQ appear to be slowly making inroads in some countries, and those networks are the edc/Maestro network, which is associated with EuroCard/MasterCard and Cirrus, and the Electron or Interlink networks, which are associated with Visa and Plus. (I have seen Electron in Europe, but not Interlink, in the places I have been, and the Visa WWW page does not totally clarify the difference between the two for me, although itappears that Electron cards are issued in Europe.)
ATM networks, which had been established in every country, seem tohave caught on for the international traveler from outside of Europefrom 1993 to 1995, but as I write this in 1995, it seems that thenational networks for POS payments have not really conected outsideof each country for the traveler yet.
``I would like to add information of special interest to the first-timevisitor to each country, since one of the first questions is where to goto get money, and after that, it is much easier to spend it. Most travelersarrive in a country by plane at that country's major airport, or by trainat a popular city. I would appreciate information on availability of themost cost-effective means of obtaining money, the ATM, at or withineasy walking distance of each country's main international airport(s)and train stations which are most likely to be a first stop. Of course,exchange offices can be readily found at both, but one can usuallysave a significant amount by using an ATM rather than exchangingcash or travellers' cheques, especially as exchange offices at theselocations usually have much poorer rates than elsewhere.''
(BarryBouwsma, <barryb@tuke.sk> August 1995)

The current index is :
Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK.
The following are currently not included in this file: Andorra, Bosnia, Georgia, Greenland, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Ukraine.

Remark by the staff of Portalino: You can also see more info about central banks, stock exchanges and commercial banks in these pages: Italy, European community , East Europe and rest of Europe. If you are interested to financial links in other continents, go to the Portalino Fantalinks.
The following coutries will not be included :Liechtenstein (see Switzerland), Monaco (see France), San Marino (see Italy), USSR (see Russia), Vatican (see Italy), Yugoslavia (see Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia).

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