New Europe bank rules affect US military customers overseas
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Community Bank customers who have standing orders to pay rent and other expenses need to enroll in online banking and update their billing information before Feb. 1, 2014, to ensure their bills will continue to be paid.
New European Union rules require financial institutions across the continent to adopt new bill-processing standards to bring uniformity to foreign and domestic bill payments across member countries.
The new standard, called the Single Euro Payments Area, replaces routing and account numbers with a system of bank identification codes (BIC) and international bank account numbers (IBAN). It goes into effect Feb. 1.
Customers of American banks and credit unions on military installations in Europe are affected by the change if they use their accounts to pay bills in euros. But the institutions are handling the new regulations in different ways.
Andrews Federal Credit Union and Service Credit Union are automatically updating standing payment orders already on file. For new payments, customers need to have BIC and IBAN information for the individual or business being paid.
Community Bank, meanwhile, is launching a new online euro bill-payments service. Once the service becomes available, “you will be responsible for establishing your repeating payments through online banking,” according to a letter going out to Community Bank customers. The service is not up yet. Customers will get an email notifying them when it’s available.
To make online payments, Community Bank customers will also need a checking account. Online payments can no longer be made from a savings account, the letter says.
Existing standing payment orders with the bank “will not be processed” after Jan. 31. The bank is also asking customers to call or visit their local branches to cancel existing orders after setting up online euro bill payments “to avoid duplicate payments.”