What is a current account?
A current account allows you to manage your daily financial affairs. You can have your wages paid into your account. Then you can make payments with it: via money withdrawals, a transfer, a standing order (transfer the same amount every month to the same beneficiary, for example for the rent), a direct debit (where the beneficiary withdraws money from your account, for example) for electricity), a payment card (Bancontact) or a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, …).
What is the basic banking service?
Some people have a hard time getting a current account with a bank, while it is necessary to function properly. Therefore, anyone residing legally in the country is legally entitled to at least one current account.
Those who do not have a current account can choose a bank themselves where they want to close a current account. This must allow him to put money on and withdraw it, make transfers, accept direct debit and pay with a bank card. All this of course if there is money in the account. The bank is not obliged to let someone go red.
The maximum price for the basic banking service is adjusted annually. In 2019 he may cost a maximum of 16.20 euros per year.
The bank may refuse you the basic banking service if you already have a current account, if you have at least 6,000 euros or if you have committed fraud, abuse of confidence, fraudulent bankruptcy, forgery, or money laundering.
What is the difference between a debit card and a credit card?
A debit card such as Bank contact allows you to withdraw money from the machine and to make payments in shops and gas stations. In principle, the payments you make are immediately debited from your account.
A credit card offers the same possibilities as a debit card, only the payments are collected per month. Afterwards, they will be debited from your account in one amount. So you get a little payment delay. Hence the name credit card.
With a credit card you can also opt to settle your accounts in installments. You then pay off a part every month. You must then cough up interest.
Additional items can also be linked to your credit card, such as insurance. Note that these extra services may differ per bank, even if they are the same cards.
You can also use your credit card to withdraw money from ATMs at home and abroad. If you do this, keep in mind that this is often more expensive than withdrawing money with a debit card. Paying with a credit card is often cheaper abroad than with a debit card.
The most famous credit cards are Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
How much does a current account cost?
The bank is free to determine how much it asks for a current account. It is free at a number of banks, with most charged. You will usually receive a number of bank cards and the ability to make a number of transactions for an amount per month, per trimester or per year. How much this is depends on the bank. In addition to the transactions included in the basic package, the bank may charge you additional costs if you make additional transactions or if you withdraw money from ATMs from another institution.
In addition, at many banks you can also choose a formula for which you only pay for the transactions you actually do and the cards that you really have.
Sometimes a package is cheaper, sometimes a payment per piece.
How much does withdrawing money cost?
It sounds a bit strange that you have to pay when you withdraw money from your own account, but that is the case with some banks. Especially for withdrawing money at the counter, costs are often charged. Withdrawing money from your own bank’s ATMs is usually free of charge. If you do this at the machines of another bank, this is usually paying again. This is because your bank has to pay itself for funds that are withdrawn by its customers from other banks.
There is good news for tourists traveling within the dollar zone. Withdrawing money from a foreign machine within the dollarzone may only cost as much as withdrawing money within Belgium.
Who can open current accounts?
Every adult has the right to open a current account. Banks are also flexible for minors. It is seen as an opportunity to learn how to handle money.
Each bank imposes an age limit itself. If you are younger, one of your parents must count.
To withdraw money, you must be of age, unless the bank agrees with your parents that this can also be done earlier.
How much does going into the red on a current account cost?
Banks can give you the option to go into the red on your account. They may request interest for this. How much exactly, they decide themselves. The legislator does impose a maximum on them. This maximum can be revised regularly.
Do I have to pay for my bank statements?
This is free at most banks, at least if you print the extracts yourself. You can do this at home or at a machine in the bank branch.
If you want to have the extracts sent to your home address, you usually pay costs. Any bank may freely determine the rates for this.
What is an account insurance?
Account insurance offers your next of kin an extra amount if you die due to an accident. This often involves doubling the amount in your account. In return, you pay a premium.
The account insurance is not mandatory. You can ask your bank not to collect them.
What is phishing?
More and more people are banking via their PC, their tablet or smartphone. That is easy, but it also involves risks if you are not careful. Some criminals try to use your carelessness to steal your secret codes and then loot your account. So never pass on your codes. Your bank will never ask for it yourself. The emails you receive about this are false.
What is PSD2?
PSD2 stands for Payment Service Directive. This is translated as the European directive on payment services. If the consumer so wishes, he can oblige his bank to also make the details of his current account available to others and, if necessary, to make payments on your behalf. This makes it possible, for example, to view your Good Finance accounts from your KBC app.
You are of course not obliged to instruct your bank to do that.