No Checks for Czechs

Banking in the Czech Republic is much different than we were used to back home. We were taken to our bank the day after we arrived in Prague in May. When our account was all set up, we never had to return again.

We have direct deposit of my husband's paycheck, which is very common for US banks. That isn't a surprise for us, but the main thing that we find different is that there are no checks for our Czech bank. The Czechs handle all payments for everything with either cash, debit card, or phone app payment. We had to check into this because we were confused by the no check system.

We found out that any bills that we receive come to us through an email. We've never gotten a bill in the mail since we've arrived. That's a nice change.

The invoices all have the company's bank account number on it along with a variable symbol. Of course, these words are all in Czech, so it takes Google translate to figure out what number is what. The variable symbol is most often specific to that monthly bill and changes from month to month on the invoice.

Since there are no checks, all invoices need to be paid on my phone app.  I checked with someone when we arrived how this was done. She explained that a template for each monthly bill is created and saved on my phone so that I don't have to type in the same numbers every month.

Then when it's time to pay the next bill, I find the template, type in the amount and variable symbol and complete the payment using my phone. Check it out in the attached photos.

It's actually very simple when once it's all put into my phone. I pay our rent, our utility bills, and our phone and internet bills this way - even when I was in Wisconsin.

I can't imagine how the Czechs came up with this system, but maybe Americans could learn something from them. Less paper in the mail this way.

I have no idea how elderly people with no computers do it. Since there are no checks, do they pay by cash? Who knows.

What about checking into the balance of our account, you ask? The online app on the phone has the balance of the account at all times. No one can use the debit card online unless the bank sends a code to the person's phone. This was a bit of a problem when I was in the US and my husband wanted to make a payment with the debit card online. He had check with me to find out the code sent to my phone.

Another advantage of this banking system is that you never have to balance the checkbook. In fact, we don't have a checkbook since we don't have checks. There are no statements to get in the mail - or online for that matter. The Czechs just keep a running total of the balance on the phone app, so you just better check out the balance before purchasing large items.

So, I hope that no one sends us a check to our Czech address. I'm not even sure if the Czechs would recognize a check as legal tender. They might look at it simply as a piece of paper. I'll have to check with our bank to see if a check could be deposited to our account here before someone would send us a check.  Let me know if you plan to do just that.

Now that I've got the hang of the Czech bank system, I'm not sure if I want to go back to the US system. Check with me later about that.

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