Over the last decade managing personal and corporate bank accounts via internet, on Client’s telephone or personal computer, has become international bank standard. When it comes to non-residents in Serbia, they are subject to special set of rules regulating this matter. Nevertheless, these rules are not drastically different from rules that apply to Serbian residents, so it is safe to say that internet banking for non-resident’s personal accounts is not limited per se, while corporate internet banking for non-residents, as signatories to resident accounts, is not limited at all.
The most evident limitation of non-resident internet banking is the inability to execute payments in foreign currency online. This limitation is based on local foreign currency regulations and extend to resident accounts as well. In that sense, there are two ways to execute payments in foreign currency:
- personally, by signing payment order in front of bank employee,
- authorizing physical person that than conduct such actions.
Generally, there are two ways to authorize other physical person to manage Client’s account, regardless of whether the authorization is in any way limited or not:
- withing the bank procedure, which requires personal presence of both (or more) physical persons,
- via external, duly certified PoA.
Limitation that relates exclusively to non-resident accounts consists of inability to execute payments in local currency online, as well. In accordance with foreign currency regulations, Clients who obtain Serbian temporary residency permit shall be treated as resident after a period of one year from the day of obtainment of temporary residency permit, which means that their account can be converted to resident account, so that this limitation can be removed from their bank profile.
When it comes to interface used by Serbian banks, depending on the particular bank it is sufficiently user-friendly. Technical solutions offered to retail Clients are often simple and colorful, while corporate Clients can often choose between bank’s in-house solution and external solution. Internet bank is always available in English version and support for English version users is constantly getting more operative, regardless of the bank.
Keeping the above mentioned in mind, it is clear that non-residents can use the internet banking mostly in order to monitor the accounts, as well as to execute intra account payments and transfers, such as foreign currency conversion.
Most reliable and simple mechanism needed to overcome stated limitations is offered by the banks themselves: standard and special debit cards. Local banks issue Visa and MasterCard debit cards to residents and to non-residents. Debit cards can vary from standard to “Platinum” or “Gold” versions and all versions are equipped with CVV/CVC code needed for internet payments. Visa and MasterCard debit cards issued by Serbian banks can be used world wide and are fully compatible in terms of linking them to popular payment processors or similar platforms.
In that sense, debit cards are the main instrument of payment execution both in case of local currency and foreign currency transactions.