Czech banks speeding up transfers

Same day and even instant transfers between banks are planned

Many money transfers from one bank to another often aren’t accomplished on the same day, and Czech banking law allows them to happen on the following business day.

But banks have been starting to change that.

Some Czech banks have been voluntarily starting to speed up the process to allow transfers posted in the morning to be completed in the afternoon, without the client having to pay a priority or premium fee.

And in the near future, some banks will be experimenting with interbank transfers in real time, with no delay even on weekends.

Currently, most Czech banks will complete an interbank transfer on the same day if the transaction is made by the client online in the morning.

Air Bank was the first to offer the service, starting seven years ago. Most other banks have only joined in recently, thanks to a change in Czech National Bank’s (ČNB) fees.

The banks require clients to make the transaction before a specified time, with different banks having different deadlines ranging between 8 am and 1 pm.

The Czech National Bank (ČNB) in January 2017 cut prices for interbank payments, which has helped to speed up payments. For the processing of each payment, each bank must continue to pay nine hellers, or Kč 0.09, to the ČNB, but it now does not pay a surcharge until 1 pm.

The fee rises to Kč 1 from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, and Kč 4 after that during banking hours on business days.

Of the country’s larger banks currently only UniCredit Bank does not guarantee same-day payments without a surcharge. Raiffeisenbank and mBank require the client to make the transfer by 8 am.

Hello bank has a deadline of 10 am; Equa bank is 10:30 am; Air bank is 11:30 am; ČSOB / Poštovní spořitelna, Expobank, Fio bank, Komerční banka, Moneta and Sberbank all are at noon; Creditas is at 12:30 pm; and Česká spořitelna to approximately 1 pm.

People who need to be sure that the transfer will happen on the same day even after they miss the bank’s deadline can make a priority payment that has a later deadline but still usually in the early afternoon. The fees and deadlines vary. Equa bank is cheapest, at Kč 29, and Sberbank is the most expensive, at Kč 200.

Transfer between banks now only works on business days in banking hours. Some banks are planning instant payments, processed within a few seconds even during the night or on weekends.

Air Bank is starting a pilot program this fall, with a limited number of people participating. It should be launched for clients in the spring of 2019.

Other banks plan to follow suit. The cost of the service has not been disclosed.

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