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Understanding Bank Account Number Portability - PSD2

Account Number portability (ANP) is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking in EU. As the PSD2 (Revised Directive on Payment Services Directive) becomes implemented, Customer are provided with various option such as AISP, PISP, Account Portability. 

All would have heard of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) where customer have the choice of having same mobile number but with different service provider.  ANP (Account Number portability) is flexibility provided to customers to port their accounts (restricted to Personal / Business Current accounts only) across banks in EU zone. Only very few bank offer such services to attract more customer. ANP is an innovation boom for the customer to shift to any of the bank who provide better service, technology and customer service.

EU is encouraging bank to use Payment Account Directive (PAD) method to switch accounts across Banks.   The following process are followed while transferring account from one bank to another 

  1. Customer historical transaction records are shared digitally from one bank to another where the account is been ported along with customer information file.
  2. All the existing payment instructions, which are held with the sender bank, are Switched / Ported to the receiving bank via PAD switches.
  • Any Outgoing payment related standing instruction are delinked from the  sender bank and these information are share to the new bank where the account is ported and new bank setup all the instructions in their system as is so customer never misses any outgoing payment which needs to paid as per customer request.

How does Payment system work for the newly ported account number?

Once the account numbers are ported, Banks provide unique IBAN (International Bank Account number to each   account in EU Zone. This IBAN number helps to find the contra account i.e. customer account number when any payment is processed through any payment system (SWIFT, BACS, Direct Debits, CHAPs).There will be delinking old account number with new bank account number and same IBAN number could be used for all payment services once the account is successfully transferred.

Bank should follow few common alias numbers mapping with old account number. Banks have to invest in their Core banking system, mobile banking, and internet banking system to show the Alias number across channel to the customer. This is to ensure the customer still use the same old account number along with alias number for easy reference.


Advantages of Account number Portability:


  • Customer tend to enjoy same banking services without any interruption to existing payment services with more innovative solution and better service quality.
  •  Banks get more opportunities to cater customer needs in area of Wealth / Asset management, Insurance,   Advisory services to new customer who are on boarded from different banks.   
  • Data portability across banks will provide enormous opportunities for Fintech companies to provide innovative solutions.
  • For Customer ANP will provide Reduction of costinnovative solution, more product availability, Security (two Factor Authentication, e-tokens, biometric), Omni channel Benefits and better service will be main advantage of ANP.
  •  For Bank, ANP will increase customer base for bank and proportionality increase profitability gradually.


Overall, Bank needs to update their system to enable account number portability as additional features to attract customers from competitors.   More over Banks are provided opportunity to tap deposit accounts from ANP customer if Banks provide better service quality, rates offered are better than others in the market.




Comments: (8)

Hansjörg Leichsenring
Hansjörg Leichsenring - Der Bank Blog - Luetjensee 09 November, 2018, 12:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I never heard the term Account Number Portability before. Up to my knowledge, this is something which is out of reach for any technical possibilities as every bank has its own account number system.

Cheers from Germany

Hansjörg Leichsenring


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 November, 2018, 04:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Few reference sites for your information

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 11 November, 2018, 16:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

AFAIK, there is NO account number portability across EU. Nevertheless, I took the trouble of reading the Executive Summary of the PDF referenced by you. I couldn't find any mention of EU. I also did a quick search for the keyword "European Union". As you can see from this screenshot, there was no mention of this keyword in the entire 74 page document. Besides, your PDF says that the report is commissioned by FCA. AFAIK, FCA is a regulatory body for Great Britain and it has no jurisdiction in EU. ICYMI, Great Britain voted a while ago to exit EU in what's popularly known as Brexit.

Nevertheless, I'll take this as a learning experience in case you can point out references to EU in your referenced PDF or anywhere else.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2018, 04:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi Kedar,


This is just understanding paper to know what is ANP and what are challenges faced for ANP

Providing few more reference sites.....for info

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 November, 2018, 14:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Sorry but the sia partners article cited by you doesn't resonate with your original post. From what I could understand, the article starts by expressing a fond wish for BANP in EU but admits midway that "Such a service ... is not yet a pan-European reality." Nor does it confirm that EU-wide BANP would ever be a reality.

In the interest of everybody's time, I suggest that you EITHER Cite a source that categorically says EU has mandated BANP across EU by so-and-so date OR Update your article to reflect the present reality and, optionally, explain what it is that you really meant to say. In its present form, I'm afraid, the original post is quite misleading.

BTW, I go by "Ketharaman".

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2018, 15:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Nothing is misleading Kedar everything is cleary given , if you still it's afraid please ignore. I feel all information is clearly explained.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 November, 2018, 18:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The only thing "clearly given" is how I said my name should be spelled. I repeat, it's "Ketharaman". 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 November, 2018, 06:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi, This feature looks similar to telecom- Mobile Number Portability feature.  Thanks for the excellent article,  I feel that the Account Number Portability would be a welcome feature in banking domain also, as this would reduce many hassles for the banks and its customers. I am looking this as a global feature and don't want to get into the region-wise specifics discussion here. I agree that the technical, legal/ compliance, country/region-wise customisation and organization-wide practical challenges for implementing the feature needs to be addressed. But that does not mean that feature could not be implementable at all in near future.  Features which we thought as impossible before a few years are available as a normal basic feature today in the market.  Any organization's technology that does not changes in line with the current tech transformation would be replaced with a better choice by the customers. 

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