The Euro has arrived. It is now possible to conduct
financial transactions in this new currency - now
denominated the main form of currency for 11 European
Union countries including Portugal, Spain, France,
Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg,
Finland, Austria, and Italy.
Travellers to Madeira
can now pay for goods and service in Euros - by cheque,
credit card or bank transfers. The physical form of
notes and coins only appears in the year 2002 when
it will replace completely the older and by then defunct
national currencies of the 11 European Union countries.
Paying by cheque
requires that the cheque be printed with the Euro
currency denomination explicit on the "amount
payable" section of the cheque. It would be the
case that European bank account holders will be able
to have two types of personal cheque books. One printed
to the order of Euros, and the other to the order
of their local currency.
It is possible that
a person in any one of the eleven member countries
can write a cheque in Euros and have that cheque deposited
in another bank account in another of any one of the
11 member European Union countries. The former hassle
of the banks not being able to accept another country's
bank cheques is thus history. This is a very strong
feature: considerable savings in time and commissions
payed to banks is had. Indeed, for the travel industry
one can expect a boom in these types of transactions.
Especially, for private hotels and services that sometimes
require advance guarantees in the form of a deposit
for goods and services to be rendered. That is, for
example, it is possible to send a cheque for a 25%
deposit guarantee for a hotel room reservation in
Euros and not have to suffer any further surcharges
or mysterious fees or commissions when the cheque
moves from one hand to another hand.