BGH: SMS TAN charges are not permitted

BGHCharges for SMS TAN – The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that banks are not allowed to levy fees for the necessary SMS for the SMS-TAN procedure without exception. A credit institution could pay the SMS with the individual code from the first message.

Charges for SMS TAN are not permitted

If credit institutions offer the SMS-TAN procedure to their customers, they are not allowed to charge the necessary SMS without exception, the Federal Court of Justice has decided under the file XI ZR 260/15. As reported by the Consumer Center in Saxony, some banks, such as the Leipziger Volksbank and the Erzgebirgsparkasse, had billed 10 cent for each short message with TAN code.

Contractual clauses, which provide for the SMS without exception, are ineffective, decided the court. The decision was based on the fact that customers are asked to pay the price without exception even if they do not use this method themselves, for example after a phishing attack or technical malfunctions of the systems.

SMS-TAN can not cost money without exception

“Those affected can now claim the remunerated fees for the last three years,” explains Andrea Heyer, Finanzexpertin of the Verbraucherzentrale Sachsen. However, the BGH has not generally pronounced charges for the SMS-TAN procedure. The Consumer Center for Saxony says:

 In this respect, the Federal Supreme Court of Justice (BGH) should have followed the legal opinion that the SMS-TAN procedure is predominantly in the interest of the bank. With the offer of online banking and the electronic processing of banking transactions, the banks are taking the risk that this access is attacked by criminals. In the view of consumer protection, these banks should be borne by the banks in the imminent systemic risks, because the SMS-TAN procedure is intended to reduce their liability. However, the BGH obviously did not follow this view.

Consumers advise customers with SMS-TAN to think about the CHIP-TAN procedure with a TAN generator and to convert their online banking.



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