Basic payment account – free account.
You don’t want to pay for the account? You won’t have to. All thanks to new regulations that banks must comply with this year. A basic payment account means free account maintenance, ATM withdrawals and payment transactions. But – a free account is not without restrictions. agev.net has more details
Free bank account for everyone from August 2018
The amendment to the Act on payment services and some other acts entered into force in February 2017. It is thanks to her that in August 2018 at the latest, all customers of banks and credit unions will have the right to use a free account. Just in August, the grace period for new regulations expires. Banks that fail to comply will face millions of penalties. In the case of credit unions, slightly smaller restrictions are foreseen. The maximum penalty for Cooperative Savings Banks will be 100,000. zł.
And it all began in 2013. At that time, the draft EU PAD directive was presented for the first time. It was she who instigated the idea of free bank accounts on European soil. In Polish legislation, this concept is known as the basic payment account. Keeping such an account will be free, as will getting a card into your account.
The basic payment account will enable the consumer to:
- making payment transactions,
- cash deposits and withdrawals.
Who will be able to set up a basic account?
Theoretically, the new law is to encourage cashless people who do not yet have a personal account. Everyone who wants to use a basic payment account cannot have an account in another bank. For a basic account to be free, it must be the only user account. Financial institutions will be able to verify the customer in the Central information about bank accounts kept from 2016 by KIR.
The Act does not say that the basic account must be the first account the customer opens. Poles have a very favorable attitude towards electronic banking, so in practice it may turn out that free accounts will be used mainly by people who have closed their current accounts, tempted by lower costs. It is easier to imagine such a scenario than mass opening of free accounts by people with limited confidence in banks. Some of them will not use this option because, for example, they may be afraid of blocking their account by a bailiff.
Functionalities of the basic payment account
The basic payment account will not have such extensive functions as those that have so far reigned in the rankings of personal accounts for PLN 0.
Free basic account services:
- account management,
- 5 domestic payment transactions,
- 5 transactions at ATMs and cash deposit machines not belonging to the account keeping institution,
- transactions in ATMs and own cash deposit machines of an institution,
- making a debit card.
As you can see, the possibilities will be reduced, but they will allow you to manage your home budget quite freely. A large number of banks have recently started to introduce, for example, fees for ATMs – so far free. Therefore, it is impossible not to appreciate the attempt to reverse this trend due to the amendment of the regulations.
What will the bank charge for?
Maintaining a basic account in accordance with the Act will be unconditionally free. However, the desire to use it fully freely will make you pay.
You are at risk if:
- exceeding the monthly limit of 5 payment transactions,
- you want to use external ATMs in the country more than 5 times a month.
Then banks and credit unions have the right to charge a commission. However, the Act limits the amount of fees. The commission cannot be higher than the fee most often charged by an institution for this type of service in the last 12 months. The bank will also be able to collect amounts due for cross-border transactions.
Other changes in banking in 2018
A basic payment account is not the only change experienced by bank customers. The European Union with its next directive prepared the ground for a real revolution on the financial market. I am talking about the PSD2 directive. Its effects will become apparent in 2018. Under it, financial institutions, such as companies providing online loans or providing payment services, will have greater access to information on bank customers’ accounts. Third parties will also be able to initiate payments from a bank account. This will certainly increase competition on the market.
The changes will also affect entrepreneurs. In 2018, new rules regarding transfers to BUZ will apply. Entrepreneurs will no longer make several payments, the distribution of contributions will be on the side of the Social Insurance Institution. In online banking, the transfer order function to BUZ will also disappear. The companies will pay their contributions by ordinary transfer. The method of providing tax information will also change. The companies will send data in the form of the Uniform Control File, which is an electronic, properly structured document.