Bank of Lithuania
2020-04-24
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Customers of SEB and Swedbank - the two largest banks operating in Lithuania - can now make even faster and more convenient payments to other banks by using just the recipient’s mobile phone number. The proxy payment service has become available thanks to the Bank of Lithuania’s Proxy Lookup System, which is also open to other payment service providers.

“We are glad to announce that during this challenging period the teams of SEB, Swedbank and the Bank of Lithuania have successfully implemented their initiative to make payments much faster and easier. This will allow consumers to reap all benefits of instant payments. Such transfers are also a great alternative to cash as they are available 24/7/365 and allow paying in just a click,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

According to him, proxy payments could also be useful to businesses, especially smaller ones. “The Proxy Lookup Service does not require any additional costs and could become a great alternative to other means of payment, e.g. at small shops or hairdressers,” said Mr Jurgilas. Banks are expected to support this initiative and adapt the new service to business needs in the near future.

“We launch new payment solutions in order to simplify our services as much as possible so as to ease daily finance management for our customers. SEB customers normally make nearly 84 thousand monthly payments to other SEB app users by using a telephone number. We believe that by extending the functionality and enabling proxy money transfers to other banks, we will provide our customers with a particularly user-friendly service. A few weeks ago, we were the first in Lithuania to join a special infrastructure of the Bank of Lithuania enabling to link one’s phone number with their bank account. It is now evident that our customers have been actively linking their telephone number with their account and are looking forward to using this service, which has become especially essential now when it is vitally important to limit physical contact between people and minimise the use of cash,” said Sonata Gutauskaitė-Bubnelienė, Head of Retail Banking with SEB Baltic.

“Smartphones are increasingly becoming the primary tool for managing personal finances – thousands of Swedbank app users prefer mobile contactless payments, smartwatch payments or our integrated Apple Pay functionality when paying for goods and services. As the Bank of Lithuania has developed a platform which enables alias payments, this will contribute to even better mobile banking experience for customers. People will now only need to know the phone number of their friends or relatives to transfer funds – there will be no need for entering bank account details. At the same time, the need for always holding cash will also diminish,” said Pavel Ladziato, Head of Private Customer Services at Swedbank.

In order to make or receive proxy payments, consumers will have to agree to link their mobile phone number with the selected account. To transfer money, they will just need to select the recipient from the contact list in their mobile app or enter the recipient’s mobile phone number. Payments will be successful only if the recipient has also linked their phone number with a certain account.

Payments by phone number will be free of charge for those who use payment service packages that include transfers. For others, their price will be the same as for domestic transfers.

For more information on the proxy payment service and the exact terms and conditions, visit the SEB or Swedbank websites.

The initiative to create a Proxy Lookup Service first emerged at the Bank of Lithuania in spring 2018 and was actively supported by the national commercial banking community. Two banks operating in Lithuania can already offer proxy payments to their customers, while Šiaulių bankas plans to do so next year. The Bank of Lithuania invites other Lithuanian and foreign banks, credit unions, payment and e-money institutions to join the system and offer their customers a chance to make payments in a more efficient way.