Thank you for your time.
In the case of my (free and completely standard) account that’s exactly zero Euro for every wire transfer. (You cannot transfer more than €50,000 and, as I already said, only Euro.)
Wire transfers are a very common way to pay for stuff in Germany and it’s very easy to get accounts that have free wire transfers. I would even speculate that most banks offer free wire transfers (I would at least be surprised if a bank told me that I have to pay for wire transfers) but I can’t be sure about that.
You are not using wire transfer companies in Germany, you just tell your bank the amount, name, account number (IBAN if it’s going outside of Germany), bank name and number (SWIFT-BIC if it’s going outside of Germany) and purpose of the wire transfer and you are all set.
That's the rates _from_ Germany to any EU country. So I wouldn't pay for a wire to France, but I don't know what a French person would pay to wire to me. The regulations only say that EU wires need to have the same price as national wires.
This is how you pay: the bank earn the interest rate for those two days.
Besides, transfers within my country (Denmark) to other banks arrives next day. If you pay for the transfer, you can get the money transferred immediately. So next day = free, same day = pay.
For free transfers I don't get interest rate for the day when the money leave my account. The recipient don't get interest rate for the day he receives the money. So even if the transfer only takes a few hours (If I pay just after midnight, he'll have the money at 6am), the bank earns interest rate for 2 days.
Banks transfer huge amount of money so the interest rate adds up for them.
In Germany, your ATM card is basically always a direct debit card that gets accepted anywhere (causes the shops lower fees than credit cards), so that takes care of one part of the Visa/MasterCard angle, and for online transactions direct debit rules the game, taking care of the other half. Services like paypal use direct debit a lot in the background.
(So the only "missing" part is credit card debt, usually you can't accrue that much debt on your direct debit account)
Within the Eurozone, however, it's quite nice.
Those foreign currency fees can be a bit tricky, even for credit cards. I've got two MasterCards, one of them adds a 1% fee if it isn't in Euro, the other doesn't (well, I got it exactly for that reason).