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EU fintechs form iban enforcement coalition

EU fintechs form iban enforcement coalition

Wise, in tandem with Starling Bank and other leading fintechs, have launched an initiative to tackle iban discriimination in Europe.

Iban discrimination occurs when a bank or company doesn’t accept a payment instruction because it’s not from the same country in which the bank or company is based.

A common problem across Europe for some time, the issue was brought to the fore by Starling Bank in February, when it reported that some companies across the EU are refusing to accept payments from UK euro account holders because the iban contains the country code 'GB'.

Even though the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU), it’s still part of the Single Euro Payments Area. Refusing to accept a payment from the iban code of a Sepa member is a violation of EU rules.

Starling was moved to draft up a written template for account holders suffering from iban discrimination to complain to companies refusing payment details.

Now it has joined forces with Wise, N26, Revolut, Raisin, Klarna, SumUp and Fire to set up a site - Accept my iban - where customers can file a complaint which is forwarded to the relevant authorities and the European Commission, saving users the hassle of dealing directly with disputed payments.

Arunan Tharmarajah, head of European banking, Wise says: “Our coalition serves millions of people across Europe, and we believe it is crucial to put an end to discrimination against non-local ibans. Our customers - and the customers of our coalition partners - still fall victim to this on a daily basis.

"We’re calling on all European consumers to stop taking no for an answer. Iban not accepted? Tell us and we promise your case will be heard by the relevant authorities.”

Comments: (1)

Nicolas Adolph
Nicolas Adolph - EPSM - Munich 26 March, 2021, 15:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I am not a lawyer, and no active provider, but I thought that the EU SEPA regulation with its "non-discrimination mandate" applies only to 2-leg transactions - so it is possible to "discriminate" against Swiss and UK IBANs, especially as the transaction pricing by (e.g. German ) banks is now very different (e.g. for a SEPA CT from 35 cts/transaction pre-Brexit to now 10 Euro/transaction past-Brexit) ?  (The reasoning is simlar to the recently announced increases of UK-EU interchanges by MasterCard and Visa)