To facilitate payments and help our oldest citizens more easily use their funds during the state of emergency, on 31 March 2020 the NBS passed the Instruction on Temporary Payments from Dinar and FX Accounts of Persons Aged 65 and Above and Issuance of Payment Instruments (G No 4597).
The Instruction pertains to persons aged 65 and above, during the period of prohibition of movement in public places, as stipulated by the Ministry of Interior’s order on the suppression and prevention of the spread of Covid-19 and protection of those persons who have not authorized anyone to dispose of funds in their accounts or their authorized persons are aged 65 and above (hereinafter: consumer). The Instruction also applies to persons aged under 65 who need to have a new payment card issued.
The Instruction temporarily regulates:
• Method of payment of dinar and FX cash from consumers’ dinar and FX accounts;
• Method of provision of the payment service of issuance of payment instruments to consumers.
For the purpose of this Instruction, a dinar and FX account shall be any bank account of the consumer holding funds that he can use in accordance with the agreement on the opening and maintaining the account, the agreement on a money deposit or other (e.g. the current account, time or term deposit). As it is the case with the NBS Instruction temporarily regulating pension payout, according to this Instruction as well, the bank must enable its consumers payouts from one account to another in the following two ways chosen by the consumer:
1) Payout on the bank’s premises to the authorized person, based on the one-time power of attorney, authorizing the person to draw funds from the consumer’s account. The power of attorney can alternatively be given in the form printed alongside the Instruction (Annex 1) or in the form determined by the bank or in free form. In the third case, the power of attorney must contain data from the form and need not be certified by the notary. The authorized person must present to the bank his/her and consumer’s personal documents;
2) Payout to the consumer’s home address in cooperation with the Serbian Post Office. The bank can also make payout in another appropriate, timely and safe manner (e.g. through the bank’s authorized person or the courier service). The consumer can submit to the bank the payout request in one of the above ways by calling the bank’s designated telephone numbers, and specifying the amount to be paid. In addition, the bank can also enable the submission of consumer’s requests and statements concerning the payout method in another adequate manner, by using means of distance communication (e.g. electronic mail, SMS or electronic or mobile banking orders).
If the consumer submits to the bank the payout request, in order to prevent fraud and abuse, the bank must verify the consumer identity by calling the consumer’s registered telephone number and by recording the telephone call. During the telephone call, the bank must familiarize the consumer with payout terms under this Instruction and the concluded agreement. In addition to the request to draw cash from his/her account, the consumer can also, for instance, submit to the bank the order to transfer funds from his/her FX account to the dinar account. The order can also be submitted through the authorized person from the power of attorney.
Given abuse- and security-related risks concerning the transport of money to the consumer’s home address, the amount not exceeding RSD 80,000 per month (or the amount of foreign cash whose dinar equivalent does not exceed RSD 80,000 according to the official middle exchange rate) can be paid to the consumer in one bank, according to the methods stipulated by this Instruction.
As many consumers receive remittances, all providers of this service (the bank, payment institution, electronic money institution and public postal operator) must enable the payout of the full amount of remittances, in line with the Instruction regulating the payout of cash from consumer’s account.
ISSUANCE OF PAYMENT INSTRUMENTS
The Instruction also regulates the temporary method of the issuance and re-issuance of payment cards, and/or the issuance of payment instruments for electronic and mobile banking, bearing in mind the recommendations of experts that cash be used to the least possible extent during the coronavirus pandemic given that the risk of spreading the virus is higher when banknotes are used compared to payment cards. The Instruction also enables consumers to undertake other activities in relation to the use of payment cards (e.g. submission of the request to unblock PIN etc.).
The consumer can also submit to the bank the request for the (re-)issuance of the payment card, either at the home address or through the authorized person with the specific power of attorney. The power of attorney can alternatively be issued to the authorized person in the form printed alongside the Instruction (Annex 2) or in the manner determined by the bank or in free form. In the third case, the power of attorney must contain data from the form and need not be certified by the notary. The authorized person must present to the bank his/her and consumer’s personal documents. The authorized person from the power of attorney can, in the name and for the account of the consumer, conclude a framework agreement on the issuance and use of the payment card only if he/she is specifically authorized to do so by the power of attorney.
If the consumer opted for the payment card issuance and the conclusion of the relevant agreement by delivery at home address, the bank is obligated to make sure that the offer for the conclusion of the payment card agreement is delivered personally to the consumer at his home address in cooperation with the Serbian Post Office or in another appropriate manner in accordance with the provisions of this Instruction, as well as to make sure that the consumer delivers the signed agreement to the bank in the same way. To facilitate the agreement conclusion procedure during the state of emergency, but also acknowledge the risks associated with such conclusion in a situation where the consumer is not directly present at the bank, the conclusion of the agreement on the issuing and use of a payment card within the meaning of the Instruction will also imply the consumer’s explicit written consent to the bank’s unambiguously defined general terms of business applicable on the date of giving such consent, the terms relating to the issuing and use of payment cards and containing compulsory elements in accordance with the law governing payment services and/or the law governing the protection of financial services consumers.
Once the agreement from paragraph 3 of this section is concluded and the payment card produced, the bank is obligated to deliver to the consumer by registered mail at his home address the payment card with personalized security elements, while taking all reasonable and appropriate measures to protect those elements (e.g. PIN).
In case of re-issuing an expired payment card, the bank may deliver the payment card with personalized security elements to the consumer at his home address by registered mail. If not, the bank is obligated to inform the consumer of the re-issuing and as of that moment, the consumer may choose the manner in which the re-issued card will be delivered.
Pursuant to the Instruction, the bank will ensure the re-issuing of expired payment cards in the ways described above also to payment service consumers under 65 years of age.
The Instruction gives the possibility to banks to deliver to the consumer, in line with their capacities and taking all the precautions, the personalized security elements of payment cards, as well as all other necessary documentation prior to card issuing, also via their electronic channels of communication, including the video identification procedure where applicable. Besides, in line with their capacities, banks may also offer to consumers the conclusion of the agreement on issuing and use of a payment card by using one or more means of distance communication without the physical presence of the service provider and the consumer, in accordance with the law governing the rights of financial services consumers in negotiating financial services via means of distance communication.
As regards the issuing of electronic and mobile payment instruments, banks shall by no later than within seven days of the effectiveness of this Instruction set up special contact centres with minimum three available telephone lines and establish the procedure for activating electronic and mobile banking services, as well as provide the relevant information on their websites. Banks are required to establish the procedures for activating electronic and mobile banking services so that they are simple, straightforward and consumer-friendly.
Finally, please note that banks, the Serbian Post Office and other persons cannot charge any fees and costs to consumers on account of meeting their obligations under this Instruction.