International banking is for anyone whose financial needs extend beyond his or her native country. International banking is certainly for you as an Expat! The CS Expat Center features banking product packages designed to meet the specific needs of Expats living in the Czech Republic. In addition to offering tailored products, the CS Expat Center offers multi-lingual professional personal advisors who can assist you in English, French, German or Czech.
Starting a life in the Czech Republic will provide you with both excitement and challenge. We offer you our best wishes on your new adventure and we look forward to making your banking life easier. As a start, we have prepared this brochure, which will give you an overview of banking services and practices in the Czech Republic.
Your Passport to Successful Banking in the Czech Republic
As part of your expat life, you will need to buy groceries, pay the telephone and cable television bills, pay rent. In short, you will need to conduct daily personal business using the local currency, the Czech Crown (Kc or CZK). The most economical and efficient way for you to take care of your financial needs here in the Czech Republic is to establish a relationship with a local bank. At Ceska Sporitelna we understand that most Expats do not speak Czech and that language can be a barrier to a successful banking relationship. We are here for you – to provide Expat tailored services and help you with your banking needs in a language that is comfortable for you.
As an initial service, we would like to introduce you briefly to banking in the Czech Republic. For more in-depth information, please visit us at the Expat Center. We are located within the Ceska Sporitelna branch at Rytirska 29 right in the heart of Prague 1, near the Metro station “Můstek” and the Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti). You can also contact us by phone at 224 101 630 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounts and Payments
In principle, you will find that banking activity in the Czech Republic is in line with your experiences in other countries. People make deposits, withdraw funds, pay bills using automatic debits, transfer funds between accounts and so forth. In practice, you may discover some variations in account types and in procedures.
Types of Accounts:
Current Account – This is the basic banking account in the Czech Republic. It is an interest bearing account from which you can withdraw cash using your ATM Debit Card, and through which you can pay bills. The Current Account is NOT a checking account. Paper checks are not commonly used as a means of payment in the Czech Republic. Current Accounts may be opened in the local currency, CZK (with the overdraft facility), or in a foreign currency, i.e. EUR, USD, GBP, etc.
Term Deposit Account – This is an interest bearing deposit account, into which funds are placed for a fixed period of time ranging from 7 days to 4 years. The interest rate on Term Deposit Account is fixed for the duration of the deposit. You may opt to renew the Term Deposit Account at maturity under the then applicable interest rate or you may direct that the funds be deposited into your Current Account. Term Deposit Accounts may be opened in the local currency, CZK, or in a foreign currency, i.e. EUR, USD, GBP, etc..
Credit Account – This account is linked to the CZK Current Account. An International Credit Card – VISA or EC/MC – issued to this account can be used worldwide for payments in any currency.
|TYPE of ACCOUNT||PURPOSE of ACCOUNT||ACCESS to ACCOUNT|
|Current Account – interest bearing variable rate, basic banking account||Deposits, Withdrawals||ATM Debit Card, Payment Orders, Standing Payment Orders, Internet Banking, Telephone Banking|
|Term Deposit Account – interest bearing fixed rate for term, deposit account||Deposit||At maturity option to renew or transfer funds to Current Account; pre-mature withdrawals are subject to penalties.|
|Credit Account||Credit facility||Credit Card – VISA or EC/MC|
Mortgage Loan – At CS we have developed a special product – Mortgage Loan Global – designed to help non-residents to acquire real estate within the territory of the Czech Republic through the vehicle of a Single Purpose Company.
Investments – At the Expat Center, we provide advisory and subscription services regarding investments in Mutual Funds.
Payment Procedures in the Czech Republic:
As mentioned above, it is not common to use paper checks to transact personal business. People have traditionally paid bills by: setting up Standing Payment Orders for regularly occurring “fixed” amount bills like the rent, school tuition, or cable TV, or Direct Debit for variable amount payments like telephone and electricity, whereby their Current Account is charged and the funds are credited to a vendor; or, by filling in Payment Order Forms accompanied with cash payment. While those payment methods are still quite common, today people are increasingly making payments through Internet Banking or Telephone Banking.
Payments are made in any of the following ways:
Payment Order Forms – The forms may vary a bit in design, but the information requested is standard: Who is being paid, what is their account number, in what currency they are to be paid, what is the date, your name, etc.
Standing Payment Orders – automatic payment of a certain amount – always the same amount, to a vendor on a regular basis (i.e. ones a month, ones every 6 months, etc.)
|Cable TV||Frequency: 1x per month||1,200 CZK|
|Scholarship||Frequency: 1x per 6 months||60,000 CZK|
Direct Debit – the amount is not always the same. This is a service provided by the bank – like an automatic debit – used to pay vendors who bill you on a regular basis. You specify not only the vendor, but also the ceiling amount of the payment. For example:
|Eurotel||Frequency: 1x per month||Payment not to exceed: 5 000 CZK|
Eurotel Internet Banking – Online Banking -As a CS Expat Center client, you’ll have the freedom to bank whenever you like, wherever you are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. www.servis24.cz
Telephone Banking – CS offers you automated Telephone access at 844 111 144 (or 582 405 405) or from abroad +420 582 405 405, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. English speaking representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm.
CS Special Advantage:
Ceská Sporitelna is a member of the most experienced international financial group in Central Europe: the ERSTE Group. As a client of Ceská Sporitelna, you can withdraw money from the ATM`s of ERSTE Group banks in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia and you will pay only minimal domestic fees for the transaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some frequently asked banking questions from Expats:
Q. Should I keep bank accounts in my home country and in the Czech Republic?
A: It is a good idea. Having an account in the Czech Republic is the most economical way of meeting your local banking needs. By becoming an Expat Center client you will be using our World Class or World Class Elite products and services and you will avoid all transaction fees for payments.
Q: What is a current account?
A: This is a general account used for both deposits and withdrawals of currency to pay bills and daily expenses. In connection with your current account, a debit card is issued for ATM access to local currencies. You may also use the debit card to pay for purchases in a wide network of stores. As a CS Expat Center client, you will be able to choose multi-currency current accounts. In addition, for Expat Center clients, an international credit card is linked to your CZK account. You can use this card worldwide
Q: Are there any other types of accounts I should have in the Czech Republic to transact personal business?
A: Yes. Your personal advisor at the CS Expat Center will advise you on term deposit accounts, payment cards, money exchange and so forth.
Q: How can I access my CS accounts?
A: With ease and almost anywhere!
- Through any of CS’s over 1000 ATMs- no fee
- At any of our 670 branches
- Through any of the ERSTE Group ATMs in Central Europe – for a reduced fee
- Through ATMs of other banks worldwide
- Online through Servis 24 Internet Banking
- By telephone through Servis 24 Telephone Banking featuring dedicated operators for service in English
Q: What is the easiest way to transfer money to and from a foreign account?
A: At CS the easiest way to transfer money is a foreign money transfer. Your private banker at the Expat Center will explain the procedure and guide you through the transaction. The foreign money transfer will not take more than 2 days.
Q: Can a CS Expat Center account enable me to pay everyday “bills” in the Czech Republic and at home?
A: Yes! Your personal CS Expat Center banker will walk you through this process and help you choose the means of payment best suited to your needs from among:
- payment orders
- standing payment orders (eg. for your monthly cable TV bill)
- direct debit with ceilings also called “SIPO” ( eg. for your electric or gas bill)
- other possible kinds of payment procedures.
Q: Why Ceská Sporitelna?
A: For the second year in a row, CS has been named “Bank of the Year” in the Czech Republic. We believe in customer service, and we believe in offering the correct solutions for financial needs. We are here just for you – with the products you need plus the convenience and excellent service you deserve. At the CS Expat Center, you will enjoy the ease of banking in the language of your choice from among English, French, German or Czech. In the gracious environment of our historic Rytirska branch, you will experience the comfort of personal service and superior professionalism from our specially trained bankers. We invite you to profit from the local expertise and long tradition of our bank, CS, and rely on the strength of our international financial group, Erste Bank Group!
Q: How do I start a banking relationship at the Expat Center?
A: Bring your passport, and – if you want to have a credit card, which CS recommends strongly – a letter of income and a visa to the Expat Center at our Rytírská 29 branch – just to the left at the top of the grand staircase. We look forward to seeing you every Monday and Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am to 5 pm and Friday from: 9 am to 4 pm. Metro station: “Mustek” on the A or B Lines.