The merger of CaixaBank and Bankia is one step away from completion. The 12th of November is the date marked in red on the calendar. That day the technological integration of both entities, which will finally begin to operate as one. It will be the moment from which the more than seven million customers from the absorbed Madrid entity will have the CaixaBank conditions in force in their contracts, which has imposed its business model.
The main changes will occur in accounts, cards and digital banking. Users have been receiving information about the new features that their products and services will have under the Day-to-Day bonding program of CaixaBank launched a year ago and which replaces Bankia’s Por ser tú plan. Those who will notice the move the most in their pockets will be those who have no relation to the bank. Although it is true that the requirements are lowered to avoid commissions.
“At CaixaBank it is easier than it was at Bankia to be considered a linked customer,” say sources from what has become the largest bank in Spain with some 20 million customers. According to his calculations, only one in four customers will pay commissions of up to 276 euros for accounts and cards, compared to the 196 euros that were paid at Bankia.
The unification of the operating systems implies that Bankia customers change the IBAN account number. This is a free administrative procedure that CaixaBank takes care of. The entity will redirect direct debits or payments to the new identifier, which can be consulted in digital banking or in branches. However, it is advisable to check that the changes have been made correctly.
But the most important novelty is that Bankia’s star program Por ser tú is eradicated in favor of CaixaBank’s Day by Day package, which tightens the commissions for unrelated clients. Those holders will see how the invoice for their accounts rises from 14 euros per month (168 euros per year) to 60 euros per month (240 per year). In any case, saving commissions will be somewhat easier than before.
The old Madrid bank wanted the client to have a payroll of more than 700 euros per month, pay at least two purchases with cards or have insurance for at least 135 euros per year or investment products for more than 30,000 euros so as not to apply the commission for account maintenance. If only the income requirement was met, the annual cost was € 72.
At CaixaBank, gratuity is achieved with a direct debit payroll of more than 600 euros (or a pension of more than 300 euros) or a balance of more than 20,000 euros in investment products and also choosing between three receipts or the use of the card three times a quarter. Without receipts or cards, the fee is 15 euros per quarter or 60 euros per year.
Of the most affected will be the holders of the Bankia ON Account, which was free without ties for digital profiles. CaixaBank has removed this product from its catalog, so that those clients will have to join in order to avoid commissions. Another alternative is the Imagin checking account, CaixaBank’s mobile banking, without obligations and with free cards. “Unlike the ON Account, it can only be managed through the app of the mobile phone and admits a single holder ”, they recall from the HelpMyCash comparator.
The price of the accounts for the unrelated will go from 168 euros to 240 euros per year
In any case, CaixaBank exempts users under 26 years of age and with a digital profile, as well as new customers, from any payment for a period of six months. In addition, those who are in a situation of vulnerability –with income below 600 euros per month– They do not pay commissions since the merger began in March and they will continue without doing so when they are automatically registered in the Social Account, which is not included in the Day by Day program.
From HelpMyCash, they indicate that customers who were already linked to Bankia “should not have difficulties adapting to the conditions of the CaixaBank Day-to-Day program and operating for free”. CaixaBank estimates that 13.6 million of its clients or three out of four will be exempt from paying commissions for basic operations.
In the cards there are several issues to consider. On the one hand, the contracts will be transferred to the consumer finance and payment subsidiary CaixaBank Payments & Consumer, which entails changes in the fees. Bankia charged 28 euros for debit cards if they were not enrolled in the Because You Are You program and for linked customers they were free. But they will soon cease to be, since CaixaBank charges a maintenance fee of 36 euros without exception. If you want to keep them, the collection will be effective as of January 1, 2022, although those who in October 2021 met the requirements of the Because You Are You program will not have to start paying until June 2022.
On the other hand, Bankia plastics can continue to be used normally until they are automatically renewed when their expiration date approaches.
The free option that CaixaBank puts on the table if Bankia’s home customers adhere to the Day by Day program is MyCard, a credit card that bears a certain resemblance to debit cards: purchases are reflected at the moment, but are charged to the account after 48 hours, although you can also pay everything at the end of the month or in installments or split it if you prefer . The customer can see their purchases in real time and know what balance will remain in the account after making the payment.
MyCard replaces the Bankia Contactless Shopping card. The payment fractioning can be made at any time, but the minimum purchases will have to be at least 40 euros, with the option of dividing them in a period of between 2 and 12 months or 24 months if the amount exceeds 600 euros. In case of opting for deferred payment, the monthly fee will be a fixed amount, with an established minimum. From Sincomisión.org they point out that the CaixaBank MyCard card “is the big winner” of the changes that are coming. They warn, however, that the interest payable “can reach up to 23% APR.”
Debit cards will cost 36 euros for everyone and MyCard will be the free option
Likewise, MyCard will allow you to customize the total payment method (without interest) and, instead of paying it at the end of the month, “you can choose to pay every X days, a specific day of the week, when you reach a certain amount or every two days. ”, Explains the bank.
Bankia customers can use more than 13,000 ATMs throughout Spain without paying commissions. CaixaBank has already been in charge of changing the operating system of the 5,000 terminals corresponding to the old Madrid bank and adapting them to the new standards of the brand.
The banking giant announced at the end of last May the deployment of the so-called ATMNow project, a new technological platform for ATMs whose objective is to equalize the level of quality, image and service in all its digital channels. The entity assured that this new platform opens the way to the creation of new services. For example, it will be possible to have the preparation of operations through the application or on the web that they want to carry out later in the ATM automatically as soon as the user identifies himself.
For now, ATMNow allows the cash withdrawal process to be reduced to two steps at ATMs. In addition, it is possible to customize the options menu so that each user has, on the first screen, direct access to their most common operations and options.
On line bank
Bankia’s mobile application has its days numbered and customers have to migrate to CaixaBankNow, CaixaBank’s digital bank, where as of November 14 they will be able to start operating. CaixaBank will be in charge of transferring all users to its application, associating the telephone number that was being used. Bankia customers will be able to continue paying with the Apple Pay and Samsung Pay applications. Of course, as explained in Sincomisión.org, they will have to configure them again in the CaixaBankNow application, which can be accessed with the same password that they used in the Bankia application. Likewise, purchases may be authorized on-line with the CaixaBankNow app from your mobile and in seconds. Imagin customers have the Imagin app.
CaixaBank recommends checking that all contact information, mobile phone number and associated cards and accounts are correct in order to have everything in order and avoid possible cases of phishing. In the event of an error, you must contact CaixaBank’s customer service for support.
Digital banking will be available only at CaixaBankNow
On the other hand, the Bankia.es website is also closed and it will be redirected to CaixaBank.es. For operations carried out at the window instead of through digital channels, 2 euros will be paid, and another 12 euros for having the alert service activated.
It should be remembered that CaixaBank must respect the clauses of the loans, mortgages, deposits and insurance contracted at the time with Bankia, since they are products with a defined duration. The entity cannot touch the interest rates signed before a notary, nor the repayment terms nor the bonuses. However, at the expiration of a deposit you can make a new offer with different conditions, just like when you have to renew an insurance.
The interests and terms of the mortgage loans will remain intact as they are contracts with a limited date
In the specific case of mortgages, CaixaBank may change the cost of the associated products that discount the loan, such as cards or home and life insurance, and the commissions of investment products, such as custody, whose conditions are not usually set in public deed. From Asufin, the Association of Financial Users, they assure that the bonuses are untouchable, but they advise to check well if some are new or if they had already been signed. However, they insist that “what is reviewed is compliance, the requirements already signed are not altered, since the contract cannot be left to the discretion of only one of the parties.” For example, a 10 basis point bonus for insurance cannot be changed, but the price of that product can be made more expensive.
The technological integration nearing completion will also be noticed in the 67 investment funds of the former Bankia Fondos. As CaixaBank AM reported a few days ago to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the transfers in these products, with some 22,000 million euros of assets, they are paralyzed between 1 and 14 November. This means that they will not be able to receive or send money to other funds. However, cash transactions will remain fully operational.
The participants of the investment funds of the former Bankia –some 900,000, according to the latest public data before the merger of the collective investment subsidiaries of both entities was consummated in July– They will not be able to transfer their money to another product for a few days without making a classic refund and then investing it in the desired fund.
The manager states in the statement that “the suspension is produced by insurmountable necessities of the technological integration of Bankia’s systems in the CaixaBank and CaixaBank AM systems.” Liquidity is guaranteed, since the investor will be able to continue withdrawing the money when he deems it convenient.