The Basic Payment Account

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The basic payment account – the right to have a bank account

Since 18.09.2016 every consumer has had the right to a basic payment account, which is also known as a “Jedermann-Konto” (account for the man on the street).

The functions of the basic payment account are:

  • Paying-in
  • Cash withdrawal (both at the counter and at autoteller machines (ATMs)) within the EU
  • Direct debits within the EU
  • Online payments

You are not able to overdraw your basic payment account.

Before opening the basic payment account

Only private persons with a legal right of residence in the EU are able to open a basic payment account. This also applies for persons with no fixed abode, in which case the bank only requires a delivery address.
The following options exist:

  • You may open a basic payment account if you have not yet held an account.
  • You may open a basic payment account, if you do not hold an functioning account.
  • If you have a functioning account, you may use the account switching service. Your old account will then be closed, and a basic payment account is opened.

You require an official photo identification document. If you are an asylum seeker, you may also identify yourself using your procedure card (Verfahrenskarte) or a residence entitlement card (Aufenthaltsberechtigungskarte). In the case that you do not have a right to residence, you may identify yourself with your card for tolerated persons (Karte für Geduldete).

Please note that the bank is required to comply with its legal due diligence obligations in connection with the prevention of money laundering and the prevention of terrorist financing, which above all include precise verification of identity. Please also consult our information about the obligation to identify oneself.

The basic payment account is not allowed to exceed € 80 per year. If you are socially and financially particularly vulnerable, your basic payment account costs a maximum of € 40 for the duration of your being considered vulnerable.
All information about fees and a possible account switching can be obtained free of charge from your bank. You will receive a breakdown of fees once a year.
Once you have submitted your complete application for a basic payment account, it takes up to ten business days, until your account is opened.
Please note that the bank is required to comply with its legal due diligence obligations in connection with the prevention of money laundering and the prevention of terrorist financing, which above all include precise verification of identity. In the case of foreign consumers, the processing time in relation to such checks may take longer in some circumstances.

You are unable to get a basic payment account – the reasons why not

Banks are required to inform you in writing why you are not allowed to open a basic payment account. You may complain to the FMA or the conciliation service (Schlichtungstelle) (information only available in German) about this.

Possible reasons for your application being rejected:

  • You already hold an account at an Austrian bank
  • You have committed an act against the bank that is punishable by a court of law
  • You have committed an act against an employee of the bank that is punishable by a court of law.