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Before setting up a deposit, institutions will provide you with a standardised information sheet (in the case of simple deposits) or a key information document (in the case of structured deposits), with the characteristics of the deposit you wish to enter into.
All the characteristics foreseen in the standardised information sheet and in the key information document are also included in the contract, which is given to the customer when the agreement is entered into.
In current accounts, holders may access the amount deposited at any time.
In time deposits, funds may be withdrawn before the end of the term only if this is foreseen and in accordance with the conditions that are defined in the deposit agreement.
In time deposits that cannot be mobilised in advance, the funds can be withdrawn only at the end of the term deposit.
No. Although there is a devaluation of the index to which the structured deposit is associated, it must ensure the reimbursement of at least the capital deposited, at the end of the term deposit or at the time of the early withdrawal, if this possibility is provided for in the deposit agreement.
Membership of the Deposits Guarantee Fund is compulsory for the following institutions:
Credit institutions with headquarters in Portugal, authorised to receive deposits;
Credit institutions based in non-European Union countries, unless Banco de Portugal considers that the guarantee system of the country of origin is equivalent to that of the Deposits Guarantee Fund.
The following institutions do not participate in the Deposits Guarantee Fund:
Branches of banks based in other European Union countries, insofar as their deposits are covered by the guarantee of the country of origin;
Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks included in the Integrated Mutual Agricultural Credit System, since the respective deposits are covered by the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund.
The Deposits Guarantee Fund is intended to guarantee the repayment of deposits held by credit institutions authorised to receive deposits from the public and that participate in the Fund. The Deposits Guarantee Fund may also be called upon to collaborate, on a transitional basis, in actions aimed at restoring the solvency and liquidity conditions of these institutions, within the framework of intervention programs established by law.
The purpose of the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund is to guarantee the repayment of deposits made in the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and its associated Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks, as well as to promote and carry out the actions it deems necessary to ensure the solvency and liquidity of these institutions, with a view to defending the Integrated Mutual Agricultural Credit System.
The maximum guaranteed amount for each of the Funds is EUR 100 000 per depositor and per institution, irrespective of the number and type of deposits (namely, current accounts, deposits redeemable at notice, time deposits, time deposits that cannot be mobilised in advance, special regime deposits, housing-savings, migrant savings, retirement savings, condominium savings and deposits represented by certificates of deposit).
The following are excluded from the reimbursement guarantee:
Deposits made with entities not authorised for this purpose;
Deposits made with the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and the associated Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks, which are covered by the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund;
Deposits in the name and on behalf of credit institutions, investment firms, financial institutions, insurance and reinsurance undertakings, collective investment institutions, pension funds, national and foreign public sector entities and supranational or international bodies, with the exception of:
deposits of pension funds whose members are small or medium-sized enterprises;
deposits of local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500 000 or less;
Deposits arising from operations in respect to which a final criminal conviction has been issued for the practice of money laundering;
Deposits whose holder has not been identified by presenting the data provided for in the rules governing the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
Deposits of entities which, in the two years prior to the date on which the deposits were unavailable or on which a resolution was adopted, had a direct or indirect interest equal to or greater than 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or were members of the credit institution’s management bodies, unless it is established that they were not, by action or omission, at the origin of the credit institution’s financial difficulties and did not contribute, by action or omission, to the credit institution’s situation.
Deposits that have not been established in the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and in the Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks associated with them;
deposits from local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500 000 or less;
Deposits that have been confiscated by the State due to the commission of a crime and deposits resulting from operations in relation to which a criminal conviction has been issued for the practice of money laundering;
Deposits of entities which, in the two years prior to the date on which the deposits were unavailable or in which a resolution was adopted, had a direct or indirect interest equal to or greater than 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or were members of the credit institution’s management bodies, unless it is established that they were not, by action or omission, at the origin of the credit institution’s financial difficulties and did not contribute, by action or omission, to the credit institution’s situation.
It is considered that a deposit is unavailable when one of the following situations occurs:
The credit institution, for reasons directly related to its financial situation, has not made the respective reimbursement under the applicable legal and contractual conditions and Banco de Portugal has verified, within a maximum of five working days of having become aware of that situation for the first time, that the institution does not show that it can repay the deposits at that moment, nor does it intend to do so in the near future; or
Banco de Portugal has made public the decision to revoke the authorisation of the depository institution, if such publication occurs prior to the verification referred to in the previous point.
If the institution with which you have made your deposit is a branch of a credit institution based in another EU country, the deposit is covered by the guarantee scheme of the country in which the institution is situated, and its limit is of EUR 100 000.
These institutions are required to provide the public, in an easily understandable manner, with all the essential information regarding the guarantee schemes which cover the deposits they receive, including the respective identification and provisions, as well as the respective amounts, coverage and maximum repayment period. If deposits are excluded from the guarantee, the institutions must inform their depositors accordingly.
In the case of an institution based in a country which, although a member of the EU, is not a member of the euro area (Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden), the bank customer should bear in mind that the amount can be paid in the currency of the country of origin.
Yes. Deposits denominated in foreign currency are also covered by the guarantee of the Fund and must be converted into euros for reimbursement purposes, at the exchange rate on the date of the unavailability of deposits.
No. The deposit guarantee covers all deposits (except those excluded by law), regardless of their remuneration rate.
Yes. Interest on deposits is included in the balances of deposits covered by the guarantee of the fund and is accounted for up to the date on which deposits are unavailable.
Yes. Credit institutions may open a deposit account provided that the customer provides all the required identification details and provides supporting documentation for the following information, at least:
In the case of natural persons, a photograph, full name, signature, date of birth, nationality stated in the identification document and the type, number, expiry date and issuer of the identification document;
In the case of legal persons or legal arrangements, the name, object, full address of the registered office and, where applicable, the full address of the branch or permanent establishment registered as account holders, the legal person identification number or equivalent number issued by a foreign authority and the identification details of the members of the management board or equivalent body in addition to other relevant senior officers with managerial powers.
All required identification must be provided within a maximum period of 60 days of the date on which the identification details were first submitted and registered. Until the customer provides the other information, credit institutions may not:
authorise any debit and, in certain circumstances, credit transactions on the account;
perform any transactions using the payment instruments associated with the account (for example, cheques or debit cards);
allow changes to ownership of the account.
If the bank customer is unable to provide all the identification details required within the aforementioned 60 days, the credit institutions will immediately terminate the business relationship, closing the deposit account.
Yes. The credit institution may open a deposit account using means of distance communication, and may even allow the account to be opened exclusively through digital channels (online and mobile).
In this case, the identification details must be verified, inter alia:
by providing the credit institution with a certified copy of the supporting documents;
by accessing documents or the information in electronic version with equivalent value ( particularly the electronic use of the citizen card via the public administration interoperability platform or the Digital Mobile Key);
Yes. Deposit accounts on behalf of minors may be opened by their legal representatives (parents or guardians) or by third parties duly authorised to open such accounts.
However, minors aged 16 and over may open an account in their own name and operate it freely if they prove that:
they have been emancipated by marriage; or
they engage in paid employment under an employment contract.
No. Credit institutions must keep updated records of account holders, their representatives and beneficial owners. Holders must communicate any changes to their identification details, either by their own initiative or at the request of those institutions.
No. However, some institutions market deposit accounts (e.g. certain salary accounts and business accounts) that enable holders to access credit under certain conditions, generally of a small amount and short-term nature.
In cases where customers hold a basic bank account or standard account, credit institutions must provide them with a debit card to operate that account.
In other situations, credit institutions are not required to grant payment cards or cheques to their customers. Cheques and cards involve different contracts than deposits and also observe the principle of contractual freedom.
Some credit institutions offer payment cards or cheques when the account is opened.
Yes. Except where prohibited by law, institutions may charge fees associated with banking products and services, if that possibility is provided for in the account agreement.
Fees relating to current accounts – for example, for account management and maintenance and related to the use of payment instruments – are freely set by each credit institution, within the limits and under the conditions established by law.
Charging fees to close current accounts of consumers (private customers) and micro-enterprises is prohibited. For other types of customer, fees for closing an account may only be charged if less than six months have elapsed since it was opened. These fees should be limited to the respective costs incurred.
Institutions may also make charges, which correspond to other costs borne by the institutions and payable to third parties. Institutions may pass on these charges to customers as they are related, in particular, to taxes or payments to registry offices and notaries.
Credit institutions are required to publicise the maximum amount of fees and to indicate the main charges in their price lists, also available on this website (Services > Consult price lists).
The fees comparator of the Bank Customer Website can be used to compare the fees charged by the institutions relating to payment account services (Services > Fees comparator).
Credit institutions and other payment service providers must make available at any time and to any person a fee information document specifying the fees charged for a range of the most representative services.
In addition to this document, the institutions and other payment service providers must provide customers who are consumers, in January of each year, with a free statement of fees, listing all the fees paid on the payment account during the preceding calendar year.
In the case of other customers (namely enterprises), credit institutions should also send, in January of each year, a free receipted invoice, listing all the fees charged during the preceding calendar year for services associated with the current account.
Yes, as long as this possibility is provided for in the account agreement and the credit institution notifies customers of that change. The credit institution must inform customers of the content of those changes at least two months before their application.
Credit institutions are required to publicise the maximum amount of fees and to indicate the main charges in their price lists, also available on this Website (Services > Consult price lists).
Yes. This information is provided through regular statements to customers, which detail the transactions processed during a certain period of time.
The available balance is the amount in the current account that the holder may use without having to pay interest or any other charges. This balance does not include amounts made available to customers as overdraft facilities, since the use of these amounts is normally subject to interest or charges.
The accounting balance is the amount corresponding to the result of the credit and debit transactions made in the current account.
It includes, namely, amounts corresponding to cheque deposits prior to those funds becoming available. These amounts are considered when calculating the accounting balance, but as the funds are not actually available, their use prior to the respective value date may imply the payment of interest or other charges.
The accounting balance may be positive or negative, which occurs when customers make overdrafts (credit overruns) or when using amounts made available by the credit institution as an overdraft facility.
These are the amounts that customers are authorised to use by their credit institutions, in addition to the funds available in their accounts, namely, through overdrafts, early withdrawals of deposits pending collection or anticipation of future receivables, such as the so-called “salary accounts”.
The amounts of personal loan agreements should be included in the available balance whenever credit institutions make them available by crediting the customer’s current account.
No. The period of time until cheque amounts become available varies depending on whether the cheques are deposited over the counter or in automatic teller machines, whether the cheques are certified or drawn on the credit institution where they are deposited or on other institutions.
The death of a deposit account holder must be communicated promptly to the credit institution where the account is held.
The heirs may have access to such account provided that they prove their status as heirs to the credit institution. The credit institution should inform them of the documents they must provide (for example, death certificates and certificates of inheritance).
Yes. The assets or amounts deposited are considered dormant and revert to the State if, within a period of 15 years, the account holders have not exercised their rights over those values in any legitimate and unequivocal manner (for example, not performing any transactions, not paying fees or not receiving any interest).
The account change service is a service that allows bank customers to change their payment account (for example, the current account) from one payment service provider (the “sending provider”) to another (the “destination provider”). The account change service includes:
the change to the new account of credit transfer orders and direct debits executed in the account of origin;
if the customer so requests, the transfer of the balance from the original account to the new account;
if the customer so requests, the closure of the account of origin.
The account change service is only possible between payment service providers with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal and between accounts in the same currency.
You can use the account change service. This service is provided by payment service providers with headquarters or a branch in Portugal and between accounts in the same currency.
The account change service must be requested via a written document to the payment service provider to which the bank customer wishes to change the account (i.e. the destination payment service provider).
In the request addressed to the destination payment service provider, the customer authorises the individual tasks that he or she intends to be covered by the account change service.
Through the authorisation, the customer identifies, if possible in an individualised manner:
recurring credit transfers of which they are the beneficiary, standing orders and direct debit authorisations that are to be included in the account change service and, if so wished, the date from which they will begin to be carried out from the new account;
if the remaining balance of the account of origin is to be transferred to the new account, the date on which the transfer is to take place;
if the account of origin is to be closed, the date on which that account should be closed.
If the account has more than one holder, the authorisation must be signed by all holders.
The payment service providers involved in the account change process are required to provide the following information free of charge to bank customers:
The tasks that they are required to undertake in each stage of the account change process;
The deadlines for completing each of these tasks;
Any fees that may be required from the bank customer;
The information that the bank customer should provide to the recipient payment service provider and, where applicable, to the submitting payment service provider;
Alternative dispute resolution procedures;
Personal information regarding permanent orders and direct debits;
In addition, the payment service provider of origin shall provide free of charge a list of standing orders in the account of origin, available information on the direct debit authorisations subject to change and on recurring credit transfers to the bank customer and the recurring direct debits ordered by the creditor that have been executed in the account in the last 13 months.
In cases where the account of origin cannot be closed, at the request of the bank customer, the payment service provider must inform the customer of that circumstance.
No. The payment account change is not instantaneous.
Following the request submitted by the bank customer, the destination provider has two business days to request the sending payment service provider to carry out the tasks identified in the customer’s authorisation.
The sending provider has a period of five business days, following the request of the destination provider, to carry out the tasks for which it is responsible.
Finally, the destination provider has another five business days to perform the subsequent tasks related to the change.
Until the account change process is complete, payments can be made through the account of origin (for example, direct debits). The customer must therefore have sufficient funds available in the account of origin for these payments to be made.
When requesting the account change service, bank customers may choose to close the account of origin or keep it. In order to close the account of origin, bank customers must expressly mention this intention in the authorisation they provide to the payment service provider to which they intend to change the account (destination provider).
The account of origin shall be closed, free of charge, by the sending provider on the date resulting from the authorisation granted by the bank customer or within one month, at most, if the bank customer has no outstanding obligations in that account and provided that the account provider has completed its tasks in the account change process.
If there are outstanding obligations that prevent the account from being closed or other legal relationships that may be affected by the closure of the account on the due date, the sending provider must immediately inform the bank customer of this fact and the consequences thereof.
No. The account change service is only possible between payment service providers with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal.
However, should bank customers wish to open a payment account with a payment service provider located in another EU Member State, they may make a request to the payment service provider with whom they have a payment account. The payment service provider with whom they hold a payment account must assist them in opening this new account.
Upon receipt of the customer’s request, the payment service provider:
provides the bank customer free of charge with a list of active permanent credit transfer orders and direct debit authorisations ordered by the borrower, if any, as well as available information on recurring credit transfers to the customer and direct debits by creditors that have been executed in the consumer’s payment account in the last 13 months;
transfers the positive balance from the account of origin to the new payment account, provided that the customer’s request includes all the information necessary to identify the new payment service provider and the customer’s payment account;
closes the payment account free of charge on the date specified by the bank customer (at least six business days after the date the service provider receives the customer’s authorisation, unless otherwise agreed) or within one month, at most, if the customer has no outstanding obligations on the account.
Holders of payment accounts (including current accounts) may close their accounts at any time, unless a pre-notice period has been agreed, which the payment service provider can never require to be more than one month.
Except in cases of account change (in which the closure of the account can be requested directly from the service provider to which the customer wishes to change his or her account), the closure of an account must be formalised with the payment service provider by its holder or, in the case of a collective account, by all of its holders.
Account holders may also request immediate and unpaid closure of their account if they do not agree to a proposal to change the terms of the contract that the payment service provider presents to them. This request for closure must be submitted before the date proposed by the payment service provider for the application of the changes to the contract.
Yes, if this possibility is provided for in the contract and provided it informs the bank customer at least two months in advance.
Cards are payment instruments that may be classified into three types, according to their main function and manner in which funds are withdrawn:
Debit cards allow cardholders to carry out a series of transactions on their payment account (e.g. their demand account), chiefly cash withdrawals, payments, account balances and statement enquiries and, depending on the ATM network and the cards’ payment brands, card transfers. As a rule, when the card is used to carry out domestic transactions, the corresponding amount is immediately debited from the holder’s associated payment account.
Credit cards allow cardholders to make payments through a pre-established credit line from the card-issuing provider.
The deadline for payment of the card’s balance and the form of payment are agreed in advance between the customer and the payment service provider (typically, the bank). Should customers choose to pay the whole amount due by the established deadline, it is interest-free. Otherwise, interest is charged on the amount outstanding, in accordance with the contracted conditions.
As a rule, prepaid cards allow the same type of payment transactions as debit cards. However, they are not associated with a payment account. The amount available stored in the card is provided in advance by the cardholder to the issuer, and the corresponding amount is debited from it.
Deferred debit cards are a subtype of credit card. These cards are associated with a payment account and make it possible to pay for goods and services, and the corresponding amount is not immediately debited from that account. The total amount of transactions is debited at a pre agreed specific date, interest-free.
Banco de Portugal’s clarification on deferred debit cards (in Portuguese only)
Cards that perform exclusively a single type of function (debit, credit or prepaid) are single function cards. Cards that combine debit and credit functions are called dual or multi function cards.
Payment brand is any material or digital name, term, sign, symbol or combination thereof, capable of denoting under which payment card scheme payment transactions are carried out.
Payment brands identify payment systems for debit transactions (e.g. Multibanco, Visa Electron and Maestro) and payment systems for credit operations (e.g. Visa, MasterCard and American Express).
Co-badging means the inclusion of two or more payment brands on the same card.
Customers may request two or more payment brands on a single payment card, provided that such a service is offered by the payment service provider.
Prior to entering into a contractual agreement governing the use of the card, the payment service provider must inform their customers on all payment brands available and their characteristics (including their functionality, cost and security).
Payment service providers are not required to provide cards to their customers and are free to set their own criteria for providing cards to customers upon request.
However, in cases where customers hold a minimum banking services account, payment service providers must give them a debit card for transactions in that account.
According to the principle of contractual freedom, card-issuing payment service providers are free to decide whether or not they will issue or reissue a bank card to a certain customer. Likewise, customers are free to accept or refuse the issuers’ conditions with regard to the cards they issue.
However, given that the decision not to reissue a card constitutes a contractual change, card issuers must report it to the cardholders no later than two months before their proposed date of application.
Payment service providers must not send unsolicited cards, except where reissuing a card currently used by a customer.
No. No one is obliged to accept cards as a means of payment for any good or service. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
As a rule, payment brands are displayed on the POS terminal screen according to the pre established order when the payment card is issued. As such, if customers use a debit card featuring, first, an international payment brand (e.g. Visa Electron or Maestro) and, second, the national payment brand (Multibanco), the brands will be displayed on the POS terminal screen in that order.
Yes. Merchants can install automatic mechanisms in their POS terminals that make it possible to change the order in which brands are presented to the customer. However, these mechanisms cannot prevent the cardholder from choosing the payment brand for each specific payment, provided that the brands included on the card are accepted by the merchant. It is always incumbent on the cardholder to choose which brand to use.
Dual or multi-function cards incorporate credit and debit functions. These cards allow cardholders to debit from the associated deposit account, in the same terms as single-function debit cards, and make payments on credit.
When customers use a dual or multi-function card, they may choose in POSs the payment brands associated with the debit function (e.g. Visa Electron, Maestro or Multibanco), if they want the amount of that operation to be immediately debited from their demand deposit account, or the payment brand associated with the credit function (e.g. Visa or MasterCard), if they prefer to draw on the credit line associated with the card.
In Portugal, some credit cards may also be used to conduct debit transactions in ATMs (cash withdrawals, payment of services and bank transfers), but they cannot be used in POSs to make payments debiting from the demand deposit account.
Merchant fees are charged to those who receive payment transactions (as a rule, merchants) by the corresponding payment service providers, for each transaction settled with a bankcard in POSs. In general, this fee is a percentage of the sale value. Merchant fees are a way to pay the payment service provider, which has signed a contract for the utilisation of POSs with the merchant, for accepting payment brands and for the guarantee that funds will be received by the beneficiary.
Merchant fees include the interchange fee.
The interchange fee is a charge paid by the card acquiring payment service provider to the card-issuing payment service provider for every card-based payment transaction.
The interchange fee is a component of merchant fees and, where cardholders are consumers, its caps are legally set (Regulation (EU) 2015/751 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions).
Presently, in Portugal, for debit-card-based payment transactions, the interchange fee cannot be more than 0.2% of the transaction value. In credit-card-based payment transactions, this fee cannot be more than 0.3% of the transaction value.
Contactless payment cards are a type of bankcard that use a technology allowing cardholders to initiate a payment transaction by bringing the card close (typically, less than 4 cm) to a POS enabled for this type of transaction.
Cards and POSs enabled to process contactless payments bear the following symbol:
This technology is incorporated in payment cards, but may also be available in other mobile devices, such as smartphones, watches, bracelets, among other devices.
Making contactless payments is possible if, in addition to activating the card’s contactless technology, the POS is also enabled for this type of transaction. In those circumstances, it is sufficient for the cardholder to activate the card’s contactless technology to conduct this type of transaction.
The contactless technology is activated when the customer uses the card for the first time in an ATM or makes a payment for the first time in a POS, by inserting the card and entering the associated PIN.
Card issuers limit contactless payments before the PIN is entered: (i) to a maximum amount per transaction (typically, low-value payments), and (ii) to an overall amount of successive contactless transactions.
As a rule, bank customers may only make a contactless payment (i.e. without inserting the card in the POS and entering the associated PIN) if the value of the transaction is below €20 and the cumulative limit of €60 has not been reached.
At times, as a supplementary security measure, the PIN may be required even when limits set by the card issuer are not exceeded.
The card issuer must inform the customer about the conditions of use of the contactless card, more specifically on limits to their use when no PIN associated with the card is entered.
Regardless of whether card-based transactions are conducted via POSs or remotely, users, as a rule, must authenticate the payment transaction.
Transactions in POSs or ATMs are, as a rule, authenticated by the cardholder by entering the personal identification number (PIN). The PIN is personal and non-transferable and should be known by heart. Never, under any circumstances, should cardholders let third parties know their PIN.
In the case of payments using contactless technology, a PIN verification may not be required (for more details, see question 20).
In the case of off-premises sales, as a rule, the number of the card is required, as well as its validity date and the three-digit security code printed on the back of the card.
Payment cardholders should follow good practice for the use of cards, in both on premises and off-premises sales, to promote the safety of this payment instrument. These good practice guidelines are available for consultation (in Portuguese only) in the following documents:
Whatever the situation, you should immediately notify the payment service provider that issued the card, or the entity specified by the latter, following the procedures specified in the contract (which, at times, are also stated in the card’s monthly statements or the statement of the associated payment account). To know how to act, you should know the procedures and information detailed in the contract and be able to state the card number at all times.
To report the loss, theft, misappropriation or unauthorised use of your payment card, you may use the contacts provided below.
Contacts of payment card issuers: https://www.bportugal.pt/sites/default/files/anexos/documentos-relacionados/contactosdosemissorescartoes.pdf
After informing the card issuer of its loss, theft or misappropriation, excluding cases of intention and gross negligence, cardholders cannot be held liable for its use.
With regard to any unauthorised transaction following the loss, theft or misappropriation of a card, prior to notifying the card issuer (or the entity specified by the latter), cardholders are liable for losses that cannot exceed the balance available in the card account or the credit line associated with the account or the card, up to €150.
If cardholders do not comply with the terms governing the issuing and use of the card or do not notify, without any justification, the payment service provider of the card’s loss, theft or misappropriation, they are liable for all losses resulting from unauthorised transactions.
Merchants should follow good practice when accepting payment cards, in both on premises and off-premises sales, to foster this instrument’s security. These good practice guidelines may be consulted (in Portuguese only) in the following documents:
No. No one is obliged to accept cheques as a means of payment. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
No. The supply of cheque books by payment service providers to their customers is only possible after a contract has been concluded, the so-called ‘cheque convention’, which is voluntary for both parties.
Banks are prohibited from signing cheque conventions with the persons:
A document can only be legally considered a cheque if it includes the following items:
Payees are not obliged to accept cheques for payment, and may therefore stipulate the conditions under which they will accept a cheque from a given person.
The circulation of cheques is based on confidence; it is advisable that the payer and the payee are specified and duly identified.
To guarantee that a cheque is paid only to the payee stated in it, you should issue the cheque crossed ‘não à ordem’ (not to order), thus prohibiting an endorsement. If ‘à ordem’ (to order) is pre-printed on the cheque books, the issuer may cross it out and write ‘não à ordem’ after the name of the payee or in the space above the crossed-out words. It is particularly recommended to issue cheques ‘não à ordem’ in the case of cheques sent by mail.
No. The inclusion of a validity date on cheques is optional for banks according to their risk analysis.
This is not advisable, although the use of cheques with a pre-printed validity date after their expiry is not prohibited. In fact, the payee should not accept a cheque after its pre-printed validity date has expired, given that the payer’s bank may refuse payment due to ‘cheque apresentado fora de prazo’ (cheque submitted after expiry date). For the same reason, the payer should not write cheques after expiry of the respective validity date.
Cheques must be presented for payment within the time limit established in the Uniform Law on Cheques. As a rule, this is eight days from the issue date. Cheques presented for payment after the legal limit has expired may be returned by credit institutions for the following reasons: ‘cheque revogado – apresentação fora do prazo’ (revoked cheque – cheque submitted after expiry date) - upon indication of the payer – or ‘cheque apresentado fora do prazo’ (cheque submitted after expiry date) – upon decision of the credit institution.
This is not advisable. A post-dated cheque is a cheque whose given issue date post-dates the actual date of presentation to the payee. However, a cheque is a spot payment order and the payee may present it for payment before the date of issue given.
In that case, if there are sufficient funds available, banks will pay the cheque. If not, the cheque is returned.
If a cheque is certified or drawn against an account of the same institution where the deposit is being made, the funds are made available on the same day as the deposit.
If a cheque is from a different bank, the funds are made available on the second business day after the date of the deposit.
The deposit will only be effective after the cheque has been checked and certified by the credit institution, which shall occur within the shortest time possible, not exceeding 24 hours, counting from the date of deposit, except for exceptional situations or force majeure. The funds must be available by 3:00 p.m. on the second business day following the date of deposit.
Once presented for payment, cheques may be returned for a number of reasons, such as:
Cheque issuers may revoke a cheque (i.e. order the bank not to pay it) before the legal time limit (as a rule, eight days) for good reason (e.g. larceny, theft or loss). Banks are not responsible for checking the truthfulness of the reason for revocation.
However, if it is proven that the reason indicated by the issuer for cheque revocation is false, the payee may start legal proceedings against the issuer. This may mean that the payer is committing a criminal offence of issuing an unfunded cheque or fraud.
Customers should follow good practice to encourage the safe use of cheques, thus reducing the likelihood of cheques being presented for payment after being stolen or mislaid, by using a false endorsement. These good practice guidelines are available for consultation (in Portuguese only) in the following document:
You should inform your bank of the theft of cheque books you have not yet filled in, and request their revocation. You are thus ordering your bank not to pay these cheques if presented for payment.
Yes. If you are the payee of a cheque returned , you may re-present it for payment to your bank.
As a rule, fees and costs associated with returned cheques can only be charged to the cheque issuer, as set in the price list of each payment service provider.
Where the amounts in words and figures do not match, the amount in words shall prevail.
A certified cheque guarantees that the account has sufficient funds available for payment at the time this cheque is certified. In addition, the amount for which a cheque was issued must be set aside in the payer’s account for a period not less than the legal time limit for payment (as a rule, eight days).
Yes. Writing a cheque for an amount above €150 which is not fully paid due to lack of funds may constitute the crime of writing unfunded cheques, punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to three or five years, according to the cheque amount.
No. Although banks are obliged to pay cheques for amounts of €150 or less, even if the funds in the payer’s account are insufficient for payment, a bank may refuse to pay a cheque for an amount of €150 or less namely for the following reasons: serious signs of forgery, cheques submitted after time limit, irregular endorsement, loss.
You should ask your bank to provide information on this service, which entails a cost.
Yes, although domestic banks are not obliged to pay these cheques. Moreover, this type of cheque cannot be cleared. However, domestic banks may accept them for deposit. Funds are only available after its effective collection .
Fees charged by domestic banks for this service shall be clearly displayed at all branches.
No. A payee cannot oblige a payer to make payments by direct debit and vice versa. Both parties must agree to use it. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
In order to make payments through the direct debit system, a payee must agree to use this collection system and sign a contract with the payer establishing the terms and conditions for direct debit collection. Payers must authorise their payment service provider to debit payments initiated by the payee from their account. Direct debit mandates require the payer’s paper-based or digital signature. Direct debit mandates given over the phone or made by verbal agreement are not valid, except for direct debit mandates given over the phone if they are certified according to a probative convention previously agreed between payee and payer.
The payment service provider must also agree to pay direct debits, by entering with the payer into a payment services contract that includes direct debits. The contract establishes the rights and obligations of both parties regarding the payment of direct debits.
Direct debit mandates may be issued on paper or as an electronic document and must contain the necessary items to confirm that debtors have authorised the creditor to debit from their account, including the debtor’s signature. Creditors must decide how to obtain their customers’ authorisation to guarantee that their authenticity is not questioned in the event of a dispute.
Direct debit mandates given over the phone or made by verbal agreement are not valid nor sufficient, except for direct debit mandates given over the phone if they are certified according to a probative convention previously agreed between creditor and debtor. However, there is no mandatory format for direct debit mandates, which may be on paper or an electronic document. Nevertheless, pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, of 14 March 2012, direct debit mandates, together with later modifications or cancellations, must be signed by debtors, manually or electronically, and stored by the creditor or a third party on behalf of the creditor.
The direct debit mandate reference number is a code given by creditors to a specific direct debit mandate. The reference must be unique, to unambiguously identify, when combined with the identifier of the creditor, the direct debit mandate within the direct debit system.
The direct debit mandate reference number must be unique, and must be filled in by the creditor when the mandate is signed by the debtor. However, if at that time it is not possible to provide that reference number, the creditor may provide it to the debtor subsequently, but always prior to the first payment collection.
The creditor identifier is a reference number that identifies the creditor within the direct debit system at European level, and comprises a creditor number followed by the ISO country code, two control digits and a business code. The country code is not directly related to any location feature or credit identity, and only specifies the country that issued the code. To make collections in any SEPA country, creditors need at least one identifier.
General structure of a SEPA creditor identifier:
Creditor identifiers issued in Portugal have the following format: PTAABBB123456
No. SEPA makes it possible for creditors to use a single identifier across the SEPA area. Creditors may request an identifier directly from the entity in charge of managing these identifiers on behalf of the banking community or delegate this task to the payment service provider offering the SEPA direct debt services.
In Portugal, national creditor identifiers may be allocated to entities operating in Portugal (i.e. with a Portuguese Business Identifier Code) and must be requested by support payment service providers (provided that they operate in Portugal) from the entity in charge of managing creditor identifiers domestically on behalf of the banking community: SIBS Forward Payment Solutions.
For more information on the allocation of creditor identifiers across SEPA countries, see Creditor Identifier Overview, published by the European Payments Council.
IBAN means “International Bank Account Number” and is a standardized structure for payment account identifiers. The IBAN makes possible to identify and validate a payment account within SEPA and may contain up to 34 characters. In Portugal, the IBAN consists of 25 alphanumeric characters and starts with ‘PT50’, followed by 21 digits, which correspond to the Bank Identification Number.
Yes, the creditor may accept a document signed by the debtor requesting that change. However, to better safeguard the creditor (in case of a request for reimbursement, for instance), we recommend that a new direct debit mandate be signed whenever one of the mandatory fields is modified (e.g. the IBAN).
No. According to the rules established in the European Payments Council’s SEPA Direct Debit Scheme, when the creditor’s identity is changed due to a merger or creation of a new corporate entity (by the creditor), to which collections are transferred, debtors are not required to sign new mandates. Nevertheless, following changes to the creditor’s identity, prior to initiating collections, the ‘new’ creditor must fully and in good time inform debtors of any changes to the mandates, more specifically identity changes (i.e. name, address, creditor identifier) and, where applicable, the allocation of a new direct debit mandate reference number.
There is no pre-established expiry date for direct debit mandates. However, debtors may set a time limit for a given direct debit mandate at an ATM of the Multibanco network, via homebanking or at the branches of payment service providers.
Debtors may, at any time, instruct their payment service provider to limit direct debits on their accounts:
Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to put in place all of these limits. In some cases, it is also possible to set up time limits and maximum amounts per collection at an ATM of the Multibanco network.
Yes, debtors may manage their direct debit mandates at ATMs and via homebanking (depending on the services offered by their payment service provider), more specifically, consult, change parameters of (maximum amount per collection and time limit for direct debit mandates) and suspend their direct debit mandates.
Furthermore, some creditors may give their customers the option to activate a new direct debit mandate via ATM or homebanking on their payment service provider’s website, using the reference number provided by the creditor.
No. Services related to the management of direct debit mandates (e.g. consulting, changing parameters of and cancelling direct debit mandates) available through the Multibanco network are accessible only to consumers with a bankcard operating a bank account opened with a payment service provider participating in both SEPA direct debits through Portugal and the Multibanco network. These services are offered by payment service providers to customers, unrelated to the origin of collections through a payment service provider from another country in SEPA.
Yes. Multibanco services that make it possible to consult, change parameters of (validity date and maximum amount of the mandate) and suspend direct debit mandates will still be available for debtors that have opened a payment account with a payment service provider participating in both the SEPA direct debits in Portugal and the Multibanco network. These services are accessible to debtors regardless of the nationality of the creditor’s payment service provider.
Yes. Creditors must pre-notify debtors of the debit transaction, pursuant to the terms of the contract, particularly as regards the period of prior notice. Furthermore, creditors may at that time also inform debtors of the creditor reference number and/or direct debit mandate, given that it is incumbent on them to provide debtors with the necessary information for the smooth functioning of the system.
Yes. Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to block this specific collection prior to the date established for debit, while the direct debit mandate will remain valid in future collections.
If the direct debit was executed less than eight weeks ago, you can request a refund to that amount from your payment service provider.
In any case, you have 13 months after the debit date to request rectification of any unauthorised or incorrectly executed debit. After this period, you can only obtain compensation from your creditor or by initiating appropriate court and/or out-of-court procedures.
Debtors must request that the respective creditors cancel the direct debit mandate. This cancellation is irreversible.
When debtors suspend a direct debit mandate, future collections submitted by the creditor may be rejected by the debtor’s payment service provider (according to the debtor’s instructions). Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to suspend a direct debit mandate via ATM or homebanking, or at a branch. Suspension of a mandate is reversible. Therefore, at any time, debtors may instruct their payment service provider to reactivate that mandate via the aforementioned channels. This service is available only in Portugal.
The suspension of the direct debit mandate does not affect the contractual relationship between the debtor and the creditor. As such, debtors must always bilaterally address with creditors the termination of their contractual relationship.
To cancel a direct debit mandate, debtors must expressly instruct creditors in that respect. The cancellation of a direct debit mandate is irreversible.
Debtors may request their payment service provider to refund executed direct debits, up to eight weeks from the debit date, provided that:
i) the direct debit mandate given by payers (debtors) does not state the exact debit amount at the time when it was issued;
ii) the debit amount exceeds that which payers (debtors) could reasonably expect on the basis of their prior expenditure profile, pursuant to the framework contract signed with the payment service provider and given the specific circumstances of the case.
However, if this has been expressly established in the framework contract signed between debtors and their payment service provider, debtors are entitled to a refund even where the aforementioned conditions are not met.
Upon receiving the request for a refund, the payment service provider has ten working days to restore the debited account, and may only refuse to repay if the conditions established in (i) and (ii) are not met and no agreement has been reached in this respect.
No. No one is obliged to accept credit transfers as a means of payment for any good or service. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
While in intrabank transfers the payer’s and the payee’s accounts are domiciled in the same payment service provider, in interbank transfers the accounts are domiciled in different payment service providers.
Interbank transfers may also be domestic, if both providers are located in the same country, or cross-border, if providers are located in different countries.
Yes. Following the publication of Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 14 March 2012 (amended by Regulation (EU) No 248/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 February 2014), technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro were established.
Therefore, in countries across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) (i.e. in EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican), payment service users may make and receive credit transfers in euro via a single payment account, subject to the same rules and obligations as in Portugal. This means that, as regards execution times, value dates, costs, fees and information needed to initiate credit transfers, the execution of a credit transfer between accounts domiciled in Portugal is similar to that of a credit transfers between, for instance, an account in Portugal and an account domiciled in France.
Currently, only technical and business standards of SEPA credit transfer and SEPA direct debit schemes established by the European Payments Council in its Rulebooks and implementation guidelines meet the conditions specified in the aforementioned Regulation. These schemes are based on the ISO 20022 XML standards and aim for the fully automated processing of payments between the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider (end-to-end straight-through processing).
Since the introduction of euro banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002, those from euro area countries are able to pay in cash using a single currency in any euro area country, as easily as they did in their own country using their national currency.
The establishment of SEPA strengthened monetary integration and helped overcome technical, legal and market barriers that persisted in the period prior to the introduction of the single currency. Households, enterprises and general government bodies can make cashless payments across the SEPA area (EU Member States and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican), using a single payment account domiciled in any country within the SEPA area and a single set of payment instruments (credit transfers, direct debits and payment cards).
To execute credit transfers payment service providers must be informed of the following:
Where available, the name of the payee and any remittance data (additional information on the transaction) must also be provided.
Enterprises (except for microenterprises) and general government bodies must use the ISO 20022 XML format whenever they transmit payment batches to their payment service providers.
However, payment service providers and software companies may provide services to their customers that convert PS2 (or similar) files to the ISO 20022 XML format in line with SEPA requirements. The eventual use of conversion services will only be allowed if the following conditions are met:
Yes. Payment service providers must implement a Customer-to-Bank (C2B) channel compatible with SEPA standards, offering their customers a file layout compatible with standard ISO 20022 XML messages.
Against this background, to simplify links between customers and payment service providers, the Portuguese banking community has developed a harmonised communication format applicable to SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits.
On Banco de Portugal’s website there is a customer-bank communication manual (C2B – Customer to Bank Services), recommended in order to maximise one of the advantages offered by SEPA: the use of a harmonised communication format, facilitating execution of payment transactions via several payment service providers or even to replace a support payment service provider.
In credit transfers domiciled in the same payment service provider (intrabank transfers), the payee’s account must be credited on the same day, with the simultaneous release of funds and allocation of a value date.
In credit transfers between payment accounts domiciled in different payment service providers (interbank transfers), the account of the payee’s payment service provider must be credited by the end of the business day following receipt of the order. The payee’s payment account must be credited by his payment service provider immediately and funds released on that day (with the allocation of a value date of that day). This applies to credit transfers in euro and, unless otherwise agreed, also to transfers denominated in the currencies of non-euro area EU Member States (in any case, the payee’s account must be credited within four business days).
In the case of paper-based transfers, the time limit can be extended by one business day.
Technical requirements of the so-called ‘SEPA scheme’, i.e. the requirements established in Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 14 March 2012, apply only to transactions in euro.
SEPA transactions cannot exceed EUR 999,999,999.99.
No. Prices of credit transfers vary depending on the payment service provider’s price list. The principle of equality of charges only applies to similar transactions executed by the same provider. This means that, provided that the customer indicates the IBAN for the payee’s payment account, domiciled in a SEPA country, charges on cross-border credit transfers cannot exceed those that the same payment service provider applies to domestic credit transfers.
Rules on charges for consumers on cross-border transfers within the EU are laid down in Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 16 September 2009, on cross-border payments in euro, Swedish kronor or Romanian lei, in the following countries:
For the execution of a credit transfer the payer and the payee are only required to pay the charges levied by the respective payment service provider. Moreover, the payment service provider executing a credit transfer must transfer the full amount indicated by the payer to be transferred.
The Fees Comparator is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily compare fees related to services associated with payment accounts, such as account maintenance fees (including package accounts), provision of debit and credit cards, cash withdrawals, cheque acquisitions and transfers.
Using the Fees Comparator, the maximum fees charged by institutions can be compared by institution or by service, depending on the respective marketing channel.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare the maximum fees associated with the following services:
• Maintenance of an account;
• Maintenance of a standard account;
• Maintenance of a basic bank account;
• Maintenance of a package account;
• Provision of a debit card;
• Provision of a credit card;
• Provision of a private credit card;
• Cash withdrawal;
• Cash advance;
• Requisition and delivery of crossed cheques to the order of;
• Requisition and delivery of crossed cheques not to the order of;
• Intra-bank credit transfer;
• Intra-bank standing order;
• SEPA + credit transfer;
• SEPA + standing order;
• Non-SEPA + credit transfer;
• Non-SEPA + standing order.
For more information on each of the services included in the Fees Comparator, refer to the glossary here and the icon “i” associated to each service in the tool.
The fees presented are freely established by institutions, in compliance with the limits and conditions established by law.
To consult information on other fees, refer to the fees and expenses leaflet and the price list of each institution, also available here on this Website.
The Fees Comparator provides information on fees relative to a range of services associated to payment accounts that are charged by credit institutions, payment institutions and electronic money institutions with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal, and by financial credit companies.
The Fees Comparator does not include fees on the services provided by institutions that operate in Portugal strictly under the freedom to provide services.
For more information on the institutions authorised to operate in Portugal, refer to the information available here.
For information on other fees, you should refer to the fees and expenses leaflet and the price list of each institution. The price list contains information on the maximum amounts of all fees charged by institutions and is available in the respective branches and places of public service, on their websites and also on this Website.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare all of the fees associated to the services included in it in relation to several institutions. To do this, choose the option ‘by institution’ and select the institutions whose fees you wish to compare. This option allows you to simultaneously compare the fees charged by up to three institutions.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare the fees charged by all institutions for one or more services. To do this, choose the option ‘by service’ and select the services whose fees you wish to compare. This option allows you to simultaneously compare the fees associated to up to three services.
The Fees Comparator is optimised for a resolution of 1170px. For this reason, you may have difficulty viewing your search results when using a mobile phone or tablet. If it is difficult to view the information, check the resolution of the equipment you are using.
You can download the data on all fees into an Excel file by clicking on a button on the bottom tool bar.
Yes. You can sort the results by alphabetical order, in the case of institutions or services, or in ascending or descending order, in the case of the fee amount.
If you wish to organise the search results according to these or other criteria, you can export the data into an Excel file by clicking on a button on the bottom tool bar.
Yes. You can print the results of searches made on the Fees Comparator by clicking on a button on the bottom tool bar.
The Fees Comparator allows you to download files in .xls or .csv format with data on all the existing fees and a record of all fees charged by all institutions that provide the services included in the Fees Comparator. To do this, click on the button ‘export all data’ on the bottom tool bar and select the desired option.
Yes. Institutions are required to inform Banco de Portugal of any changes to the information included in the Fees Comparator at least five working days prior to the date on which the change will take place.
Banco de Portugal updates the information included in the Fees Comparator on a daily basis (on weekdays) up to 12 pm (midnight) based on the data supplied by institutions.
Yes. The Fees Comparator shows the maximum fees applicable to each of the services provided.
Institutions can charge a lower amount or even exempt their customers from paying fees. These situations are associated to specific business practices conditioned to the customer’s choice to make certain commitments to the institution or to purchase other products or services simultaneously.
For more information on any reductions or exemptions applicable to fees, please refer to the price lists available on this Website, ask the institution and carefully analyse the conditions that are being offered before signing the agreement.
Yes. The Fees Comparator shows the maximum amount of the fee to be charged for the services included therein and these amounts already include taxes at the legal rate in force.
Institutions are responsible for the accuracy, veracity and currency of the information provided in the Fees Comparator.
If you detect a discrepancy between the amounts shown in the Fees Comparator and the amounts charged by an institution, you can file a complaint by filling in that institution’s complaints book or, if you prefer, you can file the complaint directly with Banco de Portugal.
However, please bear in mind that institutions can charge a lower amount than the amount shown in the Fees Comparator, since the fees shown correspond to the maximum amount that can be charged, regardless of any exemptions or discounts.