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Know your rights when making payments in Europe.
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Credit transfers can be ordered in payment service providers' branches by completing and signing the respective form.
Most payment service providers allow credit transfers to be ordered over the phone and through their websites.
Credit transfers are distinct from ‘Multibanco transfers’ carried out via an ATM on the Multibanco network with a payment card. Transfers made through the Multibanco network are considered card-based transactions.
To make a transfer, payer customers must provide their payment service provider with the following information:
Their data (name or denomination and/or IBAN of their payment account);
The amount of the credit transfer;
The IBAN of the beneficiary’s payment account;
The name of the beneficiary, if available;
The submission information, if applicable (for example, a description of the operation).
The beneficiary must provide the payer with their name or denomination and the IBAN of their payment account. The IBAN makes it possible to identify and validate a payment account in the SEPA area and can contain up to 34 characters.
In the Portuguese case, the IBAN has 25 characters and starts with PT50, followed by the 21 digits that correspond to the bank identification number (NIB): the first four digits indicate the payment service provider where the account is domiciled, followed by four digits for additional information on the provider, 11 digits corresponding to the account number and two control digits.
The legally established time limits are recorded in business days, i.e. days on which payment service providers are open to carry out payment transactions, and count from the moment the order is received by the payment service provider.
If the credit transfer order is made on a non-business day, or after the time set by the payment service provider to consider the order as received on a business day, the order is deemed to be received on the following business day.
In this regard, the following are considered to be non-business days: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and bank holidays provided for in the banking sector's Collective Bargaining Agreement. The bank holidays that do not coincide with national holidays are Carnival Tuesday and 24 December.
A transfer order that has been refused by the payment service provider because it does not meet all the conditions previously agreed with the payer shall be deemed not to have been received.
In the case of instant transfers, the reception of the order is instant.
For credit transfers between accounts of the same payment service provider (intrabank transfers), the beneficiary’s account must be credited on the day of receipt of the order and the funds made available immediately.
For credit transfers between payment accounts based in different payment service providers (interbank transfers), the funds must be credited to the beneficiary’s payment service provider account by the end of the business day following the receipt of the order. In these cases, the beneficiary’s payment account must be credited immediately and the funds made available on the same day. This time limit is applicable to:
Domestic interbank credit transfers (where both payment service providers are established in Portuguese territory);
Cross-border intra-Community credit transfers (between payment service providers located in the SEPA area).
In the case of interbank credit transfers ordered in paper form, the time limit can be extended by one additional business day.
In the case of credit transfers between payment accounts based in different payment service providers (interbank transfers), there are two exceptions to the credit rule and the availability of funds in the beneficiary’s account on the first business day following the receipt of the order: Easter Monday and 26 December.
On these days, the credit and funds can only be made available on the following business day, as TARGET2 is closed. TARGET2 is the Eurosystem settlement system in which payment transactions between payment service providers are processed.
Other TARGET2 holidays, like other TARGET2 closing days (Saturdays and Sundays), have no impact on the credit and availability of funds in user payment accounts, since they coincide with national public holidays or bank holidays.
In non-SEPA intra-Community credit transfers made in the currencies of non-euro area Member States, the same time limits for interbank credit transfers in euro shall apply, unless otherwise agreed. In any case, the beneficiary’s account must be credited within a maximum of four working days.
In the case of instant transfers, the time limit on providing the funds in the beneficiary’s account is 10 seconds, irrespective of the time and day the transfer was made or of the payment service provider participating in the transaction.
For the other transfers, no rules regarding the execution deadlines are defined. The information on the time limits practiced by each payment service provider may be consulted in the respective price list, which must be made available for consultation by customers in all branches and places of public service.
The payer and the beneficiary may only be charged the costs invoiced by the respective payment service provider.
As a rule, the prices of credit transfers and instant transfers are freely defined by the providers.
The providers are obliged to appropriately advertise the price of these transactions in price lists made available to the public so as to ensure that the interested parties are given prior knowledge to be able to evaluate the conditions offered in the market.
The price charged for interbank credit transfers is usually lower when the payer provides the beneficiary’s IBAN since the transactions can be processed through automated data transmission systems without additional intervention.
As long as the customer communicates the IBAN of the beneficiary’s payment account, charges for cross-border credit transfers made in euro, Swedish kronor or Romanian lei, and within the European Economic Area, may not be higher than those charged by the payment service provider for equivalent domestic bank transfers (in the same amount and in the same currency, made through the same channel, with the same characteristics and the same type).
Therefore, where equivalent domestic transactions carry no charge, charges associated with the execution of cross-border credit transfers are not permitted.
Banco de Portugal’s website – Transfers
Banco de Portugal’s website – IBAN
Banco de Portugal’s website – TARGET2
Regulation (EU) No. 248/2014
Legal Systems for Payment Services and Electronic Money (only in Portuguese)
Circular Letter No. 66/2012/DSC (only in Portuguese)
Transfers – What they are
Transfers – Rights and duties
Services – Price lists
Materials on credit transfers