Ukrainians in Europe Can Now Get Free Payment Accounts With EU IBAN
Bitsafe has opened its services to Ukrainians who (temporarily) reside in the European Union. This service contains a free basic payment account with a free debit card issued in the name of the displaced person from Ukraine. Each account is accompanied with a Dutch (NL) IBAN, which is capable of sending and receiving funds worldwide. Bitsafe account holders can engage in SEPA transfers and international wires. The Bitsafe debit card allows ATM withdrawals and can be used to pay for goods and services.
The customer onboarding process is completed through the use of a mobile application, available for both iOS and Android mobile phones. The Bitsafe technology recognizes more than 1700 types of global ID documents, including the Ukrainian ID-card and Biometric Passport. The security markings located on these documents are meticulously verified using the mobile phone camera and a biometric face match is verified between the image of the person and the information available on the ID document. The customer onboarding process takes only a few minutes. All applicants will in addition be screened before getting access to Bitsafe’s payment systems.
As a financial institution Bitsafe wants to help Ukrainians who had to leave their homes due to the war between Ukraineand the Russian Federation. Bitsafe’s vision is to lead the world’s transition to financial and online inclusion for everyone. Helping Ukrainian nationals residing (temporarily) outside of Ukraine fits exactly in this vision.
“New account holders are boarded in a few hours, sometimes even in minutes”, says Leif. K. Waterman, President of Bitsafe. “We have launched a special website, in the Ukrainian language, to cater for the Ukrainians who are residing here in Europe. However, the Bitsafe App and the monetary web interface are both in English. But we know and understand that the majority of the Ukrainians have an understanding of basic English. Once there is money in the Bitsafe account, the free debit card allows them to immediately engage in transactions and start buying food, clothing and other necessary products and services which we all deem to be a normal necessity to live and work in the European Union.”
Bitsafe answers the call of the European Banking Authority, made earlier this month, to facilitate access to basic payment accounts. On 4 March 2022, EU Ministers activated the Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC) which introduced temporary protection and support to persons fleeing Ukraine as a consequence of the war. Bitsafe ensures that, in line with the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU), displaced persons from Ukraine have access to open and use payment accounts which will provide them with basic payment services.
“Bitsafe follows a risk-based approach when providing our services and we take advantage of the flexibility enshrined in EU anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws”, Mr. Waterman continues. “With our unique KYC and transaction monitoring systems in place we are positive that we can provide the benefits of opening basic payment accounts to the displaced persons from the Ukraine, while staying fully compliant with the EU and Dutch AML/CFT laws.”
New applicants may visit https://www.bitsafe.org.ua to apply for an account. They would need an active email address, a Ukrainian form of ID and a mobile phone. Bitsafe has chosen the .ua top level domain as it amplifies the Ukrainian nationality. Bitsafe has learned from the .UA top level domain registry that servers which are running the .UA domain are currently all located outside of the Ukrainian territory, making these domain services not a target for intruders.
Bitsafe is a proud member of the Dutch Payment Association, alongside other members, such as ING and ABN Amro. While banks in the Netherlands require a Dutch social security number (BSN) to open up an account, no BSN is needed to open up an account at Bitsafe. Bitsafe is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution and is allowed as such to issue basic payment accounts globally not using a BSN, but with its unique KYC technology.
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