Tricia, that is amazing about Germany, because it is the opposite here in France! I haven't really used cheques for years in the UK and in Bosnia they don't exist. But everyone uses them here - you just sign them and the store machine does the rest, so it is not inconvenient. Usually there is a limit of 50 or 100 Euros over which they need an identity document. But I had a bad time with my debit card once - I used it for a load of shopping ( I need to go out and spend at a number of different shops when I am buying stuff for the renovations) and it suddenly got refused. It was very embarrassing and annoying. When I phoned the bank they said it was because I had made more than 9 transactions that day! I mean, 9. I was able to sort it out and now I have unlimited usage. But they don't tell you these rules until something bad happens.