Can banks limit the hours when bills can be paid?
Banks can set the times when bills that are not paid by direct debit, such as essential service bills, can be paid at their branches. It's a decision that falls within the scope of banks’ commercial policy, since the legislation does not set specific mandatory times for this procedure. However, these hours must be on display at bank branches.
Going to a bank to pay charges, taxes or fines is a different story. In these cases, banks act as collaborators with certain public bodies (local councils, universities, Social Security, etc.). Limiting the hours for paying non-direct debit bills is therefore not permitted.
Banks must comply with the conditions established in the collaboration agreement signed with these bodies and in the applicable sectoral legislation.
It is important that you find out in advance which payment options are available (on the websites of the public body and the bank). For example, you can pay your taxes at an ATM or online, and avoid queues at the branch.
Many banks’ online banking platforms or mobile apps have an option for paying bills and taxes. To do this, you must provide the details that appear on the payment document (the code of the institution issuing the bill, a numerical reference code, a numerical identification code and the amount). Additionally, when you pay using your bank’s app on a device with a camera, there is usually an option to scan the document’s barcode and fill in these details automatically.