10707 Postepay, VISA and Paypal

Given the snaglets of paying ENEL, TI and the like with UK based credit cards, I recently trawled up this page which is all about a pre-paid credit card issued by the Italian Post Office. The Italian is pretty simple, and it might be worth ploughing your way through.

Poste Italiane are really being quite innovative with their products, and this Postepay card can be linked with your Paypal account. Paypal is also pretty innovative, and (if this payment method appeals to you) you can recharge your Postepay card via your Paypal account. Thus you can feed your Paypal account via your UK credit card, bung some money onto the Postepay card, and pay ENEL. All online, as far as I can make out. In addition, anybody in Italy who owes you money can nip into the PO and credit your Postepay card (which you can then move into your UK credit card account via Paypal). Nifty stuff.

I have absolutely no idea what sort of charges or exchange rates would be involved, but 'in extremis' it could be a goer. Even ex-extremis it could be cheaper than running an Italian non resident bank account!

[url=http://www.poste.it/bancoposta/cartedipagamento/postepay.shtml]Poste Italiane - Postepay[/url]

It gets higher tech still - get a load of this!


Cost of living - Utility Services

Certainly worth looking into as I use paypal quite a lot as well.
Unfortunately I won't be using it to receive money from anyone in Italy for a while as the denaro will only be going in the one direction for a while. :frown:

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dear All, I have recently opened up a postepay online account, can you be kind to explain how do I go about transfering money from my PayPal account to my Postepay account. I have tried to work it out to no evail. I desperately need to pay an equitalia bill, however I am not currently in Italy. Thank you in advanceRegardsMaria

The Postepay card is indeed very useful. It is a Visa Electron card and I use it for online purchases because unlike a credit card, large charges cannot be run up on it by anyone who obtains the card details. If you keep the credit low and just top it up as needed, your risk of loss through fraud is minimised. Anyone can buy one, even if not a BancoPosta customer. It's also handy for travel funds - I loaded it before a trip to Australia and had no problems using it for cash withdrawals or purchases.

[quote=Stella;99683]The Postepay card is indeed very useful. It is a Visa Electron card and I use it for online purchases.[/quote]

Presumably as it is a Visa Electron card it could also be used to book Ryanair tickets so whilst they are offering zero handling charges for these cards you would avoid paying their handling charges for debit or credit cards which at £4/ €5 per person per flight soon add up?

[quote=Charles Phillips;99676]Given the snaglets of paying ENEL, TI and the like with UK based credit cards, I recently trawled up this page which is all about a pre-paid credit card issued by the Italian Post Office. The Italian is pretty simple, and it might be worth ploughing your way through.[/quote]

Just a quick update on this, for those interested....
I spent a 'losing the will to live' hour and a half in Aulla Post Office trying to sign up for a postepay card and failed miserably.
Obviously, over and above your codice fiscale, you need to show some identification (passport or ID card) and the data from this is linked with the card. Unfortunately, their antiquated computer system does not recognise any town or city of birth outside of Italy, therefore the application process can't complete. Suggestions that she should just enter La Spezia, for the hell of it, fell on deaf ears.
Worth trying another main post office, or is that it?

Definitely worth trying another PO as I managed to get one sorted in about 20 mins!
Their system does offer a separate box for 'stranieri' to put in their country of birth - looking at the form they filled it in as follows -
Nato a: ************** (same place as is on my passport or Italian ID card)
Provincia: EE
Nazione: Regno Unito

They have to insert 'EE' otherwise the system will not accept it, nor will it accept Gran Bretagna although I think that is what is on the CF.

According to the chap in our PO you do not need to be an Italian resident, just offer an Italian address.

Good luck

At the risk of advertising - but in the interest of giving information to all - Banca Mediolanum offers the PostePay as a free extra on a standard current account.
The disadvantage of all accounts in Italy is the €34.20 annual state tax (plus whatever monthly fees the bank decides to charge).
The plus with Banca Mediolanum is that for average balances of €3,000 there is no monthly charge. Direct debits (to cover all utilities, etc.) can be 'suspended' with the click of a button on theinternet if the bill comes in higher than expected. All Italian banking operations are free of charge as are Euro payments within the Euro zone.
Unfortunately there is no Paypal link yet - but I will be right onto it!

As a follow on to my post above, I should add that you do not need to have a PO account to obtain a Postepay card through the PO. You pay €5 for the card, and €1 for each subsequent top up, max balance is €3000 and there is a €2 fee if you cancel the card (the PO chap said that no-one ever cancels their card, they just stop using it so avoid this fee!)

Many thanks for all the above information - I am due to go to my house soon so will try to get a postepay card. Can anyone help ?- do they issue the card over the counter at the post office or is it sent in the post to your Italian address (which means another trip to collect it)

No, sorry, no excuse for another holiday in order to collect!
The card and PIN number are both issued there and then and the card can be used immediately.

[quote=anne2;101982]Definitely worth trying another PO as I managed to get one sorted in about 20 mins! [/quote]

Great, thanks for that. The 'EE' sounds like the key to all this. I'll try again [somewhere else].

Some wonderful poster on the Forum, some time ago, told us about the Intesa San Paolo banking group. We have been waiting for their linked cashpoints to arrive nearer to where we live rather than going into central Perugia. Opening an account this week was simple but only Italian was spoken. You must be "resident" in Italy to have a ZEROTONDO account with them. The benefits are that if you don't go into the bank and do everything online and use the cashpoint, there are no bank charges apart from the Italian State tax, approx 8.55 a quarter. We were given a Bancomat card no charge. We did not want a credit card but as we purchase things online, we also asked for a FLASH card, which is a prepay card and initially costs € 4.90 plus about about 1 euro each time you top it up. (Saves using English sterling credit card/debit card when buying things priced in euros). All our household utility bills are automatically paid online.
We had no choice of where to bank in 1998. The Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank was the one to use. Our restoration project has been finished for over 3 years. Our 2007 bank charges were over €500 ..no we were not doing anything out of the ordinary. So far this year the charges are €322 plus state tax 8.55 per quarter despite our using online banking and the cashpoint rather than going into the bank and making a protest to the ever changing management. Grazie Mille to the poster who told us and now I am telling you too!

It was probably "Liketheroman" who mentioned the Intesa San Paolo account - he doesn't seem to visit the forum anymore.

Noble if you are doing nothing out of the ordinary then you are paying far, far too much for your account.
I recommend you ask for an explanation form the bank (which although it may seem stressful should enable you to save €200-300 p.a.).
All our banking transactions, including cheques, bank transfers and direct debits are included in the monthly fee of €0 - €5 per month (plus the annual tax).

Yes Timwills that is exactly what I said in my post and why we are leaving Monte dei Paschi and using [url]www.intersanpaolo.com[/url] the only charges being State tax and a little for the Flash card.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes, I used to bank with Intesa San Paolo and their Mastercard was free. It was just that the bank was inconvenient to get to. Wish I had stayed with them now, as my new bank seems stuck in the 1960s. 

my apologies, I took it that you were waiting/hoping they would arrive...
I hope there are enough ATMs when they do so you do not have to pay for cash withdrawals.
All the best.

[quote=derekL;102031]Great, thanks for that. The 'EE' sounds like the key to all this. I'll try again [somewhere else].[/quote]

Fingers crossed and good luck!

I have a PostePay card, but can I heck as like get registered to access it on line. Even my Italian friend had a go, no luck.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tried downloading the Poste Pay app on my i pad this morning. No luck, as my Apple account isn't registered in Italy! However I do have an Italian mobile phone, so dowloaded the app on that instead. 

Monte dei Paschi has its own version called SPIDER - a prepay electron card which allows you to use it as a debit card for all those Amazon purchases.....

I sincerely hope that you are able to negotiate better terms with MPS than we could...I hate spiders and we are, after 10 years, closing our account with MPS. Their bank charges are outrageous.

Thanks for all your help - went to Italy for two nights went to the local post office got a Poste Pay Card no problems - put money on it returned to the Uk tried it out to top up my Italian phone and hey it worked now keeping fingers crossed it will pay my next electric bill and phone bills I dont intend to go out to Italy until next year - many thanks again for all your info - this is great

I have just got my telephone bill and I have managed to pay with my posta pay card on line - thanks again for all the help and advice - paying the bills have been a pain the past 12 months.

A few other Carta PostePay things we've found and not yet found;

- you can also pay your ICI online
- it doesn't seem to work in those out of hours petrol station machines, PIN or no PIN
- we haven't yet worked out how to pay TARSU rifuiti if anyone has a clue
- you can transfer money via Paypal but we seem to find it'll only do that if you register an italian paypal account
- you can check the balance etc. over the internet but we found it impossible to register properly from the UK as the "telegram" with the secret code never arrived. We asked for it to be sent to our italian address and all was perfect
- ENEL seem perfectly happy with it, at last

My 17 year old sone makes several trips to Italy a year to visit the family of our former exchange student. I would like to get him a Postepay, but I believe it is only for Italian residents. Is that correct? Or, is it possible to purchase it online, for him, before his next trip in a few weeks? Finally, if I am unable to purchase it for him online, can one of the Italian residents that he visits go get one for him before his next trip, and will I be able to top it off online, or not? Sorry for all the questions, but all of my children will be making many trips to Italy and Postepay seems to be better for them, in case it is lost or stolen, than adding them on my Visa account and allowing them to carry a credit card throughout Europe.


If you read Italian the site is [url=http://www.poste.it/postecommerce/]Poste Italiane - Postecommerce[/url] or perhaps your Italian relatives have access to a computer? I have re read this thread as well and it does appear that the person who will own the card must go to the post office with identification (passport) to purchase the card. Anyone can buy the card.Topping up can then be done online.

They also require your codice fiscale when you request a Carte PostePay.

So he would not be able to get a card anyway, our Italian friend would have to do it? I hate to ask them, after they let him stay there for free.

Is there another option, besides for using my credit card? If he obtained a work or student Visa, would he be able to get a Postepay on his own? Would that give him a codice fiscale? (he will be 18 soon, but he would be able to get cards for the other kids in our family that will be staying in Italy for several months at a time)?

What about Monte dei Paschi's SPIDER? Anyone have any idea how that works?


[quote] Would that give him a codice fiscale? [/quote]
He can apply for his codice fiscale at Agenzia Entrate with a passport or permesso di soggiorno.
[quote]Per i cittadini stranieri in Italia:
il cittadino appartenente agli Stati della Comunità Europea deve portare un documento di riconoscimento valido;
il cittadino non appartenente agli Stati della Comunità Europea deve portare il passaporto o il permesso di soggiorno.[/quote]
[url=http://www.agenziaentrate.it/ilwwcm/connect/Nsi/Servizi/Codice+fiscale+-+tessera+sanitaria/codice+fiscale+faq/]Agenzia delle Entrate - Codice fiscale: le risposte alle domande più frequenti[/url]