Electronic payments: an efficient and secure alternative
There are a number of rules in the European Union aimed at ensuring that electronic payments (transfers, direct debits, payments by card or mobile devices, etc.) are cheaper, easier and more secure for users. To let you know about your main rights and obligations when making payments, the European Commission has produced a brochurre where you can easily access this information.
New technologies can also make our lives easier and help us manage and make our daily payments without the need for cash. For example, these are some payment transactions that we can make directly with our mobile devices:
- Shopping: first, you need to download the bank app with which you have a card or an account and select the card or account from which you want to pay. If your bank has this option, you can also link your cards to a so-called digital wallet and use a payment solution from the device manufacturer (such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay). Once this is done, to make the payment, you only have to bring the device (for example, your mobile phone or a wearable device, such as a smart watch or a wristband) up to a point of sale (POS) terminal with contactless technology. To find out if the POS and your card have this technology, look for this symbol:
You should bear in mind that in some transactions, for example when the purchase exceeds a defined amount or when a certain number of consecutive payments have been made in this way, you will need to use some additional security measure, such as entering your card's PIN.
IMPORTANT: In line with the recommendations of the European Banking Authority, in order to make it easier for users to make use of contactless payment options during the state of emergency while respecting social distancing measures and without renouncing security, it will be possible, temporarily, to make contactless payments of up to €50 simply by bringing your mobile phone or card (if it has contactless technology) up to the POS, without having to enter the card's PIN (provided that the limit on the number of consecutive payments by this means is not exceeded).
- Make and receive payments instantly, with only the recipient's telephone number: you need to sign up to the bank's app and select the account from which you wish to operate. To make a payment, you do not have to know the account number of the recipient; you can just type in their phone number, or select it from the contacts list, and the funds will be transferred from one account to another in real time. Most Spanish banks have this payment option available to their customers, usually at no cost, through the Bizum platform, but there are other similar platforms that also allow instant payments to be made free of charge between their registered users.
Please note that there may be a daily limit for payments being made in this way. In addition, some banks also allow you to use Bizum to make purchases at participating online stores. To do so, all you need is to obtain a password through your bank's app. For more information, consult your bank.
- Withdrawing cash from ATMs: through some banks’ apps you can select the account from which you want to withdraw cash, and then indicate the amount you want to withdraw and the mobile phone number of the person who will withdraw the cash (it can be your phone number or that of someone else). The bank will send a one-time password by SMS to the mobile phone number indicated. To obtain the cash, you just have to type that code into an ATM.