Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"I can't take it..."

Why wouldn't she take my card?  It is a debit card after all...  but it's a Visa debit card.  I persuade her to try it in the machine.  No luck - machine rejects.  Argh.  Ok, it'll have to be cash.  Do I have enough?  mmm.  Only just. Gah.  Now I've got to find a cash point... 

Later, I ask the relocation agent what is going on with no shops or anywhere normal taking credit or debit cards...  It turns out that while the Dutch have credit cards, they're not actually credit cards.  They have to clear them monthly.  So, it's a sort of credit card that gets cleared every month.  They do have debit cards, but they're not on Visa, they're on Maestro.  Isn't Maestro for 16 year olds who can't get credit?  I guess not, since it's pretty much the only way (save cash) to pay for stuff in the Netherlands - though I'm sure there are exceptions...  

This difference in how people pay for things reflects the society's attitude to money, and it looks like the Dutch didn't get hooked on credit like the UK.  Which can only be good news.  Unless you have a Visa debit card.

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