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In France, you get to be "interdit bancaire" (blacklisted by a government file, and denied all banking services), basically if you ever write a dud cheque. There is now (this is recent) a government-mandated minimum service that banks are obliged to provide to people who are blacklisted, which amounts to a debit card.

The advantage of this system is that you can (could, until a few years ago) write a cheque for just about anything. The banks are trying hard to stamp out the massive use of cheques (because they cost them money) and force us to use credit (or debit) cards.

Credit card balances are paid off automatically every month from your bank account, so you can't have outstanding balance on your card (what you have instead is an overdraft).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 06:59:05 AM EST
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You still use cheques in France? I think we phased them out in like the mid 80's.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 10:40:39 AM EST
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We still use them in the U.S......(I've never seen them in Italy). But the system is broken.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 14th, 2012 at 11:14:54 AM EST
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