Banks want to rely on clients’ understanding

Holders of payment cards connected by SMS-notifications

By Veniamin Mikheev

Holders of payment cards connected by SMS-notifications


Sergey Dubkov, the Deputy Chairman of the National Bank’s Board, explains that transactions using bank payment cards are currently accompanied by SMS-notification for those who desire it (at a fee). However, in the interests of account security and the deterrence of fraud, the National Bank is keen to see this innovation extended to all customers, so that they know straight away if their card has been used without their authorisation.

SMS-notification from banks to become usual on smartphone screens
SMS-notification from banks to become usual on smartphone screens

As to whether clients will still be covered for ‘misused funds’ if they decline to use the service, Mr. Dubkov underlines that each case will be judged individually. The service negates the need for paper receipts and statements for transactions, although these may be given if requested. However, as Mr. Dubkov stresses, most people throw such receipts away. Naturally, the National Bank is eager to reduce costs where possible. A regulatory document detailing the new regime is currently underway, and should come into force by late 2015.
The document embraces the principle of zero responsibility, as recommended to banks, making it obligatory, as long as customers inform their bank of unauthorised transactions within 30 days. Banks then have 45 days to consider whether to refund misappropriated funds for any transactions within Belarus (90 days for those made abroad). Banks also have the power to decide whether a crime has been committed. “The principle of zero responsibility is one of the tools used to make services competitive,” underlines Mr. Dubkov. He adds that, in most cases, banks return clients’ money. Since the move was brought into force this February, no more than 30 such instances have come to light.
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