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The Bank

The word bank comes from the Old Italian word banca, meaning ’bench’ or ’table’, because in the middle ages the Italian currency exchangers sat on benches and provided money for travellers in exchange for Promissory Notes.

What are banks?

The modern definition of banks is a financial institution that provides financial services. Hungary’s central bank is Magyar Nemzeti Bank. (Hungarian National Bank)

What is interest?

Simply put, the price paid for borrowing money. Interest is always an amount of money.

Most common types of interest

Central Bank base (interest) rate is the interest rate which the Central Bank offers to other credit institutions.

Default interest (or late charges) is not an interest in the traditional sense, but a fine that the borrower must pay in order to compensate the lender.

Important concepts about interest:

Interest rate is the amount charged, expressed as a percentage, for a specified amount of time (usually one year) for borrowing money.

Interest Subsidy is an aid from the government to help repay the loan, as long as the borrower meets certain criteria.


How to open a bank account?

Bank accounts can only be opened by citizens of a given country or those in possession of a residence permit.

Under the age of 18 parental consent is required, over the age of 18 parental consent is not required.

Debit Card

Debit Cards substitute cash, and allow access to the bank account. With a debit card we can easily access our bank accounts and withdraw cash, or we can directly pay with them almost everywhere. In the past it was always required to enter our PIN code when paying, but nowadays thanks to Pay Pass it is not always required.

Debit cards are personalized, on the plastic card we can find the card’s number, our names, the issuing bank’s name, the expiration date, and on the back a security code and our signature. This data is required for online purchases, since you have to enter this data when you order something online. It is advisable to set a limit for online payment in case the card is lost, so others cannot access the total amount of money on the bank account.

Payment via the bank (Bank payment order)

Direct debit is used when we instruct the bank to make a payment or a series of payments to a provider (i.e. electricity, water)

Direct Debit

Direct Debit is a transfer that is not initiated by the account holder, but the service providers which want to collect the money. This requires our permission (once) and after that the agreed upon sum will be automatically transferred from our accounts. This is most often used for invoices, but it is also useful for recurring charges, such as newspapers or internet service.

The ‘yellow check’

We refer to check as any means of payment that replaces cash, and the form that is used in the postal office to make cash payments. Special vouchers, such as holiday vouchers, or checks such as food checks also count as checks.

The most common check you can encounter is the ’yellow check’ or officially payment (cash) transfer order. Nowadays, in the world of online transfers and payments it is not often used, but you may have to fill out one or two of them in the future, if you have to pay in cash. We will help you fill it out!

On the drawing you can find all the necessary information on how to fill out the check, but here are some pointers.

The ’yellow check’ is never empty, it is always issued by someone, who usually fills out the parts that we marked in red in the illustration with the sample text.

When filling out the numbers it is important to always begin from the right side and to cross out any remaining empty space – although in many cases the issuer, to whom you are paying, has already filled out this section too.

At the identification document section write an ’X’ to the one you are going to use (ID card, driver’s licence, passport, etc.), and pay attention to start writing on the right side here too!

While usually, when writing our address, we begin with the zip code, here please note that there is a separate section for the zip code at the bottom!

The ‘white check’

If you want to transfer cash to a bank account via the post office, you have to fill out a white check. It is similar to a yellow check in many ways, the beneficiary’s data (who gets the money) will already be filled out, we only have to fill out the form with our address (in two places) and the amount in numbers and letters (also starting from the end).

The ‘pink check’

The pink check is only for domestic postal payment orders, when we are required to make payment but we didn’t get a ‘yellow check’ for the notice (or we lost it). This obligation can be met with the ‘pink check’, or postal payment order which you can purchase at the post office. For the addressee write the name of the addressee, the name of the settlement and most importantly: the bank account of the addressee and the name of the bank which holds the account. The zip code is always 1910. Unlike other checks, the details of payment can be found on the reverse side, if we wish to write anything. The top right part is filled out by the post office!

We can also use these checks if someone does not have a bank account and we wish to send them money via the post office.