You'll soon be able transfer money via mobile phone in Czechia

A new project from the Czech National Bank will match bank accounts to phone numbers.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 07.09.2023 16:33:00 (updated on 08.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech National Bank (ČNB) will introduce a new service that allows people to transfer money using only mobile phone numbers. The initiative aims to simplify and expedite the money-transfer process, reducing the likelihood of errors that can occur when entering account numbers or bank codes incorrectly.

Starting from Oct. 30, banks will gain access to this innovative register, with the service expected to become available to interested customers in the near future. In a press release, ČNB highlighted that the primary goal is to streamline peer-to-peer money transfers while ensuring maximum security for all transactions.

Linking bank accounts with numbers

The register will facilitate the association of phone numbers with corresponding account numbers, enhancing the ease of transactions. Multiple phone numbers can be linked to a single bank account, which is particularly advantageous for people with a joint account. 

Conversely, each phone number can be assigned to only one bank account. The system will enforce a payment limit of CZK 5,000 for individual transactions. When sending money, the name of the account holder receiving the funds will always be displayed to the sender, adding an extra layer of transparency to the process.

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In collaboration with the Czech Banking Association, the ČNB has been diligently preparing this service for months. Nine banks have already expressed their interest in adopting and offering this innovative service. The management of the telephone number register will be overseen by ČNB. Customers of participating banks who actively express their interest will gain access to this service.

Beneficial for security, consumers, and banks

Security is a paramount concern for the ČNB, especially in light of recent cyberattacks on financial institutions in the Czech Republic. The central bank has assured customers of the utmost security for all transactions, emphasizing its commitment to safeguarding financial operations.

In addition to streamlining payments between individuals, the service is poised to help domestic banks remain competitive with international financial entities such as Revolut. It will simplify small payments, reducing reliance on QR codes for payments. Moreover, this service could be a game-changer for businesses that prefer not to accept payment cards, offering them a viable alternative to generate instant QR code payments.

As this revolutionary system prepares to launch, the ČNB also took the opportunity to reiterate its recommendation for individuals to send money only to recipients they know and trust. Caution is advised, especially in response to unsolicited money requests, which may turn out to be fraudulent. The speed of payments increases the risk of financial loss, making vigilance essential in the digital age.

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