Payment services

  • Under Payment Services Royal Decree-law 19/2018 of 23 November 2018, you are entitled to a refund of payments made under previously authorised direct debits, where you did not specify the exact amount in the authorisation and where this amount reasonably exceeds what you could have expected in view of your previous payments, the conditions of your contract and other relevant circumstances (Article 48 of Royak Decree-Law 19/2018 (in Spanish)Abre en nueva ventana).

    In these cases, you have eight weeksAbre en nueva ventana within which to request a refund of your payment as of the date the funds were debited from your account. Within ten working days of receiving your request for a refund, the bank must credit the amount of the direct debit to your account or justify its refusal to provide a refund, in which case it should indicate the relevant claim procedure.

    If you did not previously authorise the direct debit, Royal Decree-Law 19/2018 says you should notify your bank of the unauthorised transaction without undue delay, specifically within no more than thirteen months of the debit or payment date.

    In the case of customers not classed as consumers, a shorter period may apply (Article 34 of Royal Decree-Law 19/2018 (in Spanish)Abre en nueva ventana).

    • Never keep a note ofyour PIN with your card, or in your handbag, purse or wallet. It is safest to memorise it.
    • Avoid using a  predicable number for your PIN, such as your birthday, ID card number, etc.
    • Show some form of identification when using the card.
    • Take care of your privacy when using your card in shops and at cash machines (ATMs).If you do not use your card often, check from time to time that you still have it in your possession
    • Check your account statements to identify any suspicious transactions.
    • Keep the emergency phone number provided by your bank where it is easy to find, but never with the card. 
    • Never leave your card number in plain sight or disclose it to anyone.
    • Keep any documents with your name and card number on them, such as receipts, in a safe place or else destroy them.
    • Do not use your credit card as a means of identification.
    • When using your card online you should use at least three of the following security measures: PIN, signature, security code card, text message, password, security token, fingerprint, etc.
  • No. Unless this is expressly stated in the terms and conditions or the bank gives you two months’ notice of a contractual change to this effect.

    The way in which banks provide cash services, including cash withdrawals and deposits, is at their discretion and depends on their commercial policy. It is for you to consider this issue and to decide whether you wish to remain a customer.

    However, if your bank only allows ATM-based cashier services, this restriction must be included in the terms and conditions of the account. If this restriction is imposed subsequently, the bank must give two months’ notice so that you can decide whether or not to remain a customer.

  • In certain cases, it can.

    The decision to refuse to pay a direct debit can be made by the bank or by the customer who set up the direct debit, provided the amount has not already been paid into the payee’s account.

    Reasons for refusing to pay a direct debit may include:

    • Incorrect IBAN NUMBER
    • Closed or frozen account
    • The account does not allow direct debit mandates, for regulatory reasons
    • Incorrect file format
    • Insufficient funds in the account
    • Duplicated transaction, invalid or non-existent mandate
    • Death of the payer
    • Rejection by payer (i.e. he/she gives instructions not to pay).

    In the event of a payment being refused, the bank must notify the customer of the circumstances so that any errors can be corrected. 

  • A bank transfer may not reach the recipient even if it has been correctly carried out and the money has been debited from the sender’s account.

    Under money laundering regulations, banks may block the transferred funds until they have checked the identity of each company or person involved in the transfer and they have obtained the documents that allow the link between the funds and the professional or business activity of the companies or persons involved to be confirmed. 

    Money laundering regulations also forbid banks from carrying out transactions with unidentified customers. In such cases, banks must inform customers what documents are required in order to certify the source of income or origin of the funds.

  • Instant payments are not just immediate, but can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year round, including weekends and bank holidays.

    Both national and international instant payments have been available since November 2017.

  • Customers can usually withdraw cash at any of their bank’s branches. If you take out money from a branch other than your account holding branch, the bank should ask you for identification and check that there is no reason why the money cannot be withdrawn.

    • You can repay the credit over a period of time, with instalments that vary according to the outstanding balance or how much you wish to pay, within the limits set by the bank.
    • Each repayment you make increases the credit available on the card, such that the capital repaid will be available again as credit.
    • Interest, fees and other expenses can also be paid on credit, as well as the cost of your purchase.
    • If you choose to pay only a small amount of the accumulated debt each month, it will take longer to pay off and you will have to pay more interest.
    • Also, if your payments do not cover the interest accrued over the period, the outstanding debt will increase.
    • It is possible for your outstanding debt to increase rather than decrease even if you make all your monthly payments without fail over a number of years.

    Use our calculator to find the date of the last repayment to clear an existing credit card debt (assuming no further purchases).

  • Direct debits are a form of payment service commonly used to settle a variety of bills (utilities, taxes, etc.). However, account holders may sometimes use a direct debit to transfer money between their accounts so as to avoid the fees that banks can charge for transfers.

    The legislation governs financial services users’ rights in relation to direct debits, ensuring they can order the recall of a direct debit charged from their account, and it sets two different time limits depending on whether the debit was previously authorised (eight weeks) or not (thirteen months), so as to safeguard customers’ rights.

    However, these time limits in no way require the funds received to be unavailable for the duration of the time in which it is possible to recall the direct debit or any other period. Indeed, under the Payment Services Law, the receiving bank is required to make the amount transferred available to the account holder as soon as it arrives.

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