Can your bank set a specific time for you to pay your bills over the counter?

Have you ever been to your bank branch and had to return the next day because you were too early or too late to pay a bill over the counter? It is increasingly common for banks to set specific times –certain hours of the day or even certain days of the week or month– for certain cashier services. The fundamental aim is to offer better service by preventing queues, to give customers priority over non-customers and to encourage the use of online banking and/or cash machines.

But what more should you know about these time limits?

  • Banks should have notices up in branches informing of these time windows. They should also provide information on the limits on the maximum or minimum sums you may withdraw. 
  • In the case of non-direct debit bills, it is standard business practice to set time windows for over-the-counter payments. There is no rule to prevent this so there can be no objection to it; it is simply a business decision. 
  • In the case of credit institutions that cooperate with certain public bodies or government agencies (local authorities, universities, Social Security, etc.) for payment of charges, taxes and fines and pension payments, the time windows will be established in the respective collaboration agreement or the applicable administrative regulations. 
  • In the case of payments made into or out of customer accounts, there should not, in principle, be any restrictions as to times or dates, unless any such limitation is expressly included in the contract.

So now you know: to make the best use of your bank’s cashier services, make sure you find out when they are available.

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