Bizum: all its secrets revealed


Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Bizum by now? This summer, “do me a Bizum!” will be on everyone’s lips. Bizum was created in 2016 and is now used by more than 15 million people in Spain – expected to be 20 million by the end of this year. Here we will let you in on all the secrets of this popular instant payment service.

Bizum makes payments easier by linking your bank account number to your mobile phone number. Much easier to remember than the very long IBAN of your account, right? Almost all Spanish banks provide this service and none of them charge any fees for using it.

Bizum does not have its own application, but is integrated into each bank’s application. Thus, the payments you make will have the same security layers as the rest of your transactions, since you will have to access the bank application. You also have to enter a one-time password (OTP) that will be sent to you by SMS.

What limits have been set? The minimum transaction amount is €0.50 and the maximum is €1,000, although banks may set lower limits. You can receive up to 60 payments per month (previously 150) and send as many as you wish. You can make multiple payments to up to 30 people and the maximum amount you can receive per day is €2,000.

Can I have Bizum in two banks at the same time? No, as you can only link one current account to a phone number. The only way of doing this is to have two phone numbers and to link each number to a different bank. You can, however, link two phone numbers to one bank account, as would be the case for an account you share with your partner.

In addition to person to person payments, what else can I do? You can shop at partner e-commerce stores. To do this, you will need to know your Bizum password, which you can request from your bank in the application. You can also make donations to NGOs that allow payments by Bizum. If a user does not have Bizum, they will receive an SMS alert to sign up for it. If they do not do so within the specified deadline, the outstanding transaction will expire.

Little by little, new functionalities have been added, such as in-person payments at shops via a QR code (December 2020). Did you know that you can make payments to the Spanish State lottery organisation and cash your prizes?

What if I make a Bizum payment to the wrong recipient? Unfortunately, due to the nature of this service, payments cannot be cancelled or undone. Transfers are irrevocable and final. Your only option is to contact that person and for them to agree to return the money to you. You can also contact your bank and ask them to take the necessary steps to try to recover the funds. We recommend that, when making payments by Bizum, you select the contact from your phone’s contact list rather than typing in the number yourself.

So there you are. If you’ve got your mobile on you, you’ve also got money on you. If you can’t see how it works, ask a family member or friend to show you. It’s not hard!

Bizum is a very popular instant payment system in Spain, but it is not the only one.

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