Minimum Banking Services are a set of banking services considered essential, which citizens can access at reduced cost.

Until 2015, these services were provided by credit institutions on a voluntary basis, i.e. if they signed agreements entered into for this purpose.

Currently, minimum banking services must be provided by all credit institutions authorised to accept deposits from the general public and which make publicly available the services included in the minimum banking services, through the Minimum Services Account.

The Minimum Banking Services Account is a demand deposit account, intended for customers who do not have a demand account anywhere in the banking system (except in exceptional situations established by law) or who request the conversion of the demand account they hold to the Minimum Banking Services account, provided that the requirements of Decree-Law 27-C/2000 of 10 March are met.

The holder may, in addition to opening and maintaining the minimum banking services account, at no additional cost:

  • Have a debit card to perform transactions on the minimum banking services account (demand account); 
  • Move funds in the minimum banking services account through automatic teller machines in Portugal and the other Member States of the European Union;
  • Move funds in the account through the home banking service (i.e. the website of the credit institution) and the branches of the credit institution;
  • Make deposits, withdrawals, payments for goods and services and direct debits;
  • Carry out intrabank transfers (i.e. transfers to accounts opened at the same credit institution where the minimum banking services account is held);
  • Carry out interbank transfers (i.e. transfers to accounts opened with other institutions), through automated teller machines, without any restriction on the number of transactions that can be carried out, and through home banking, in which case there is a maximum of 24 national and European Union interbank transfers per calendar year.

The minimum banking services account may have several holders, provided that they all meet the legal requirements.

Customers who subscribe to the minimum banking services may contract other banking products or services, and these additional products or services may be subject to the payment of commissions and charges, as provided for in the price list of the credit institution concerned.

Banco de Portugal publishes on the Banking Customer Portal detailed information on the nature and scope of minimum banking services, the rights and duties of the Banking Customer, as well as the characteristics of the minimum banking services account.

Information on this topic can also be found on the Todos Contam Portal and on the website of the General Directorate for Consumers.

Video: What is a minimum banking services account?