Bank of Lithuania has approved a new price cap for basic payment account
The Board of the Bank of Lithuania has set the maximum monthly fee of €1.52 (50% discount to social benefit recipients) for the basic payment account for 2020.
‘For three years banks and credit unions have been offering to residents payment service packages, i.e. the use of basic payment services for a fixed price. In most cases, with payment service packages, the price of services is significantly lower than when paying for every service separately. For this reason, a significant number of residents are already using this service. With income of residents growing, their expenses rise as well; consequently, the fee for basic payment account is also increasing but to a lesser extent than it could, when accounting for the overall increase of consumption expenditure,’ said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
The price cap for basic payment account service has been fixed since February 2017. Until the end of 2019, the maximum monthly fee will remain limited to €1.5. The new price cap for 2020 was approved in line with the Calculation Methodology for the Maximum Monthly Fee for the Basic Payment Account Service. According to the methodology, the maximum fee for the basic payment account is to be set in view of the average fee for payment service packages that are most similar to the basic payment account service. In addition, the determined price cap cannot exceed a certain share of average per capita household consumption expenditure.
The basic payment account service offered by banks and credit unions to their clients must include the following services:
- account handling;
- secure device to manage and log into an account (e.g. a code generator);
- payment card and payment transactions using a card;
- no less than 10 online transfers of any kind in euro per month, including utility and other bill payments, e-invoice payments, transfers within an institution and to other payment service providers, direct debit transactions;
- unlimited number of incoming payments in euro;
- cash withdrawals – no less than €550 per month within the bank’s ATM network or in the manner chosen by a credit union;
- unlimited cash deposits in the manner chosen by a credit institution.
At their own initiative, payment service providers also offer other payment service packages, which often include a wider array of payment services (e.g. unlimited online transfers). Various customer groups – residents who have their wages transferred to an account of a chosen bank, young people and seniors – are eligible for special package plans that are even less expensive than the standard ones.
According to the Law on Payments, where there are significant changes of the consumer payment behaviour or of the payment market, the Bank of Lithuania can revise the composition of the basic payment account. According to the Bank of Lithuania assessment, since the currently offered payment service packages are sufficient to satisfy payment-related daily needs, their composition will remain unchanged.
Information on fees applied by payment service providers and payment service packages are available at the Bank of Lithuania website.