Price cap for basic payment services remains unchanged
Set for almost two years, the price cap for the basic payment service package offered by commercial banks and credit unions will remain limited to €1.5 (€0.75 for social benefit recipients). Such a decision was taken by the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, which has set the maximum monthly fee for the basic payment account service for 2019.
“Residents who have opted for payment service packages have saved a considerable sum of money. However, there is still a large number of bank clients that have not chosen any of the packages currently on offer. Taking into account market developments and encouraging banks to offer optimum alternatives, we have revised the pricing methodology for the basic payment account service, according to which the price remains unchanged,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
The price cap for basic payment service packages has been fixed since February 2017. Next year, as before, banks and credit unions will have to offer their clients the following services for no more than €1.5 per month (€0.75 for social benefit recipients):
- 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, the Bank of Lithuania must annually set the maximum monthly fee for the basic payment account service. The price cap approved this time round will be effective until 31 December 2019.
The revised pricing methodology foresees that the maximum fee for the basic payment account service is to be set in view of the average fee for payment service packages that are most similar to the basic payment account service and are available to the general public. In addition, the determined price cap cannot exceed a certain share of average per capita household consumption expenditure.