The German government is planning to bring in a law forcing banks to provide homeless people and asylum seekers with access to basic accounts.
Under the proposed law, approved by Germany's cabinet this week, everyone will be able to open accounts at any bank, and make cash withdrawals, card payments, direct debits and money transfers.
The new law would bring Germany in line with a 2014 EU directive. At the moment, banks can refuse to let someone open an account if they are unable to provide identification or proof of residency, according to broadcaster DW.
This has proved a major stumbling block for homeless people and migrants. Germany is currently in the midst of a huge influx of migrants, having agreed to take in people fleeing war-torn Iraq and Syria.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas says: "Those who don't have a bank account, don't have good prospects on the labour market. Hunting for a flat is also a problem for many people without an account."