Czech Banks Increasing Charges for Confirmation SMS

As technology advances, Czech banks encourage their clients to use mobile banking applications more frequently. Some have now increased, or are about to grow, the price of confirmation SMS messages sent during online card payments or when logging into electronic banking. This price increase also affects paper statements and branch payments.

For instance, Moneta Money Bank has started charging its clients under 65 years old five crowns per message since October. They justified this move with security concerns, stating that last year, these SMS messages were responsible for 95% of all fraudulent attacks on accounts.

According to the bank, the security risk lies in logging into Internet banking. The entire process occurs on one device and only requires a login name, password, and a confirmation SMS.

“Fraudsters often remotely attack a particular mobile phone, completely without the client’s knowledge, and send themselves the confirmation SMS with the mobile key. In contrast, the mobile banking application is encrypted and contains integrated protection, through which the attacker cannot remotely confirm any operations on behalf of the client,” explained the bank’s spokesperson, Zuzana Filipová.

From the beginning of November, ČSOB also began charging for SMS messages, which now cost 2.50 crowns. “If the client who authorizes the payment is under 18 or 65 or older, we do not charge a fee. We will also not charge a fee to disabled clients,” said spokesperson Patrik Madle.

In conclusion, the technological shift towards mobile banking leads to increased costs for traditional banking methods, impacting those not yet fully integrated into the digital banking world. As banks continue to prioritize digital solutions, it remains to be seen how this will affect older or less tech-savvy clients.