Wise, together with N26, Revolut, Raisin, SumUp and Klarna have launched acceptmyiban.org, an initiative to tackle iban discrimination in Europe. Starling Bank also joined the initiative recently.
Much too often, businesses in the EU like internet providers, phone companies or even banks refuse to accept your IBAN because they claim you need an IBAN from a certain country – usually the country they themselves are based in.
„While that may seem legit, it’s illegal. It’s called IBAN discrimination, and it’s against the law. And we want to put an end to it. So, Wise has partnered with other leading fintech companies to bring this issue to the attention of policymakers. Our friends at Revolut, N26, Raisin, SumUp and Klarna have joined the fight”, according to a Wise blog.
IBAN discrimination has been against the law for 7 (seven!) years and it’s still something lots of people – and especially those living international lives – face way too often.
Late 2020, Wise sent this letter to the European Commission.
„We’re asking them to take action against countries, where the issue is commonplace. For example, we know the issue is particularly rampant in Spain and France,” Wise says.
Also, 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.
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 know problems don’t miraculously solve themselves. That’s why we launched acceptmyiban.org. It’s an easy way for anyone to report IBAN discrimination regardless of who they pay with. Whether you bank with HSBC, have an account at Revolut or use our international banking app, you can add your case of IBAN discrimination on acceptmyiban.org. Whenever a company doesn’t accept your IBAN, don’t just take no for an answer. Report it, so we can stop it,” Wise concludes.