SARAJEVO – With the aim of improving the transparency and comparability of fees of payment service providers, establishing the Register of Accounts of Natural Persons, as well as introducing the institute of basic account, The Government of the Federation of BiH has determined and sent to the Parliament of the FBiH for adoption the Proposal of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Internal Payment Transactions.
As announced by the Government of the Federation, the newly proposed decision limits interbank transaction fees for card payments, which may not exceed 0.5 percent of the value of debit card transactions, whereas for credit card transactions, they may not exceed 0.6 percent of the value of transactions for the first 12 months after the entry into force of the provision regulating the amount of fees.
After that period, interbank fees may not exceed 0.2 percent of the value of a debit card transaction, and 0.3 percent of a credit card transaction. The payment service provider cannot charge or offer an interbank fee incongruous with these restrictions.
It is expected that lowering interbank fees and increasing market transparency will create conditions for a competition among banks and card systems which would lead to a faster development of non-cash payments, with all the advantages of these payments for the country’s economy in general. In order to provide business entities with access to impartial and credible information on the amount of fees charged by payment service providers in the FBiH, the FBiH Banking Agency will publish and regularly update on its website a comparative overview of fees that payment service providers charge their customers.
The access to this site will be free and will allow users to obtain clear, concise and accurate information on fees charged by payment service providers in the FBiH. This will make it very easy for users to choose the most favorable payment service provider.
The law prescribes the possibility of opening and using a basic account, through which certain categories of natural persons who are service users can use basic payment services for a lower fee or in certain cases—in accordance with the regulation on protection of financial service users—the bank will provide services to such users free of charge.
The establishment of the Register of Accounts of Natural Persons will enable a faster and easier identification of debtors’ accounts in administrative (tax) and enforcement proceedings, as well as in other court proceedings such as investigation of suspicious activities, money laundering prevention, terrorist financing, etc.
This will contribute to more efficient work of courts, as well as tax, investigative and other bodies, whose access to natural persons’ account data will be facilitated and accelerated. The register of accounts of natural persons will contain information and data on accounts and their owners but will not contain data on account balance and transactions. Other amendments to the Law refer to prescribing misdemeanor penalties for those persons who may have access to the data from the Register if they act or use data contrary to the prescribed provisions, as well as to misdemeanors of banks if they charge higher fees than prescribed.