Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber: “The Banking Supervision Department will encourage the move to digital financial services in order to improve and lower the cost of services to small businesses. This is part of a long-term strategic process by the Banking Supervision Department in this area.  The need to meet in person with a representative of the credit card company, and the costs inherent in that, have made it difficult for small businesses to obtain payments via payment cards and to move between acquirers and credit card companies, and we are now removing this impediment.”
The Banking Supervision Department today published a draft revision of Proper Conduct of Banking Business Directive 418 on “Opening of Bank Accounts Via the Internet”, which will enable self-employed individuals to contact an acquirer via the Internet in order to obtain payment card settlement services, without meeting a representative of the acquirer company in person.  This leniency is for small businesses, and therefore sets out maximum settlement thresholds at the daily, monthly and yearly levels, which are detailed in the Directive.  This process will make it easier for the self-employed and small businesses to open a business, or to expand an existing business, and to accept payments from their customers via payment cards.  In the view of the Banking Supervision Department, the measure is expected to encourage the establishment of small businesses that can offer their customers ecommerce options.
Until now, in order for a small business to be able to accept payment cards from their customers, the acquirer was required to send a sales representative to the business for a meeting in order to open the account and obtain the merchant’s signature on forms.  The need for a face-to-face meeting led to high costs, made the process longer, and caused some small businesses to continue operating on a cash or check basis only.  The new measure is another element in the Banking Supervision Department’s policy intended to support the execution of transactions via electronic means, and is expected to assist a wide range of small businesses.  Proper Conduct of Banking Business Directive 418 came into effect in 2014, and made it possible for households to open bank accounts via the Internet.  This amendment is an expansion of the Directive.