Upcoming changes will streamline key transactions and operations in Czechia

Digital powers of attorney and shared ATM networks, spurred by the country’s digitization and tech efforts, aim to make life easier for consumers.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 21.05.2024 15:03:00 (updated on 21.05.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

Thanks to digitization and technological drives, Czechia is making it easier for people to deal with two separate – yet important and frequent – issues: appointing a power of attorney and depositing cash at ATMs. New changes, which are both set to take effect at the turn of July this year, will make life easier for both locals and expats in Czechia alike.

Verifying a power of attorney online

From July, people in Czechia will be able to assign and use a power of attorney online, eliminating the need to go to offices or notaries with documents to process and verify a power of attorney.

As part of its Digital Czech initiative, the state says that people can appoint their power of attorney via a new, electronic-based Representation Register (registr zastupování), which contains a list of registered powers of attorney. It will go live in the summer.

Minister for Digitalization Ivan Bartoš commented on the change, saying: “The modernization of public administration ensures a more comfortable life for citizens, entrepreneurs, and officials without wasting time associated with submitting paper powers of attorney and their verification."

The Representation Register will require individuals to fill out a form with basic information, such as names and the purpose of the power of attorney, and confirm their identity through the Citizen Identity (which foreigners can use) online.

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to act on behalf of another person in financial or legal matters. In Czechia, this can, for example, be used for hiring an accountant to submit tax returns or writing energy bills into someone else's name.

Cheaper, quicker, safer

Currently, physical power of attorney documents need to be verified by a notary or at designated locations marked with the Czech POINT logo, and can cost up to CZK 169 (and some time) for documents. However, with the new e-register, verification will only cost up to CZK 85 and can all be done from home (or anywhere).

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President of the Czech Chamber of Notaries Radim Neubauer says that powers of attorney make up a large part of notaries’ work, but regardless believes the new register will streamline processes and facilitate interaction between citizens, entrepreneurs, and the state. "It is a path towards digitization, which is the goal of this government," he said.

The represented person will have access to their issued powers of attorney and can terminate them at any moment. Director of the Digital and Information Agency Martin Mesršmíd emphasizes the benefits of digitization over the non-online world, as revoking a power of attorney can currently be time-consuming. 

Bartoš has emphasized that the standard ways of appointing a power of attorney – via visiting notaries or Czech POINT branches – will continue.

Shared ATM cash deposits

At the moment, if you want to deposit cash at an ATM in Czechia, you’ll need to find a cash machine owned by the bank you’re a customer of. From the end of June, however, this is about to change. 

Four large banks in Czechia – Komerční banka (KB), Moneta, Air Bank, and UniCredit – will launch a new network of sharing their ATMs for cash deposits nationwide. This means that customers of any of the above-mentioned four banks can deposit cash at any ATM on the network.

Moneta has already confirmed its readiness to join the system of shared deposits. Air Bank and UniCredit Bank have currently limited themselves to a more general statement that they are working on the joint depository project.

Responding to demand

Participating banks first announced their intention to connect their ATM network for deposits in a joint statement last June. They have wanted to do so since the beginning of this year due to the gradual decline of traditional cash registers at branches and the growing popularity of ATMs with a deposit function among clients. Banks say that self-employed individuals most often deposit cash.

Those who wish to deposit cash will now have 1,000 extra ATMs at their disposal. The four participating banks also say that more of their ATMs will accept contactless deposits, negating the need for a physical card.

This development is the latest in the shared ATM network initiative launched in June 2022 by KB and Moneta. Since last February, Air Bank and UniCredit Bank have also joined the initiative. As a result, clients of these banks can now withdraw cash from approximately 2,000 shared ATMs under the same conditions as they would from their own bank's cash machines.

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