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Linking a mobile phone number to a bank account

 

Introduction

Currently, banks must allow account holders to link a mobile phone number to their deposit account to facilitate the use of electronic transfers. This is similar to assigning an easy-to-remember "alias" to their account (as compared to the standardized banking cipher (known by its Spanish acronym, CLABE) or debit card number that are long and difficult to remember).

Procedure to link a mobile phone number to a bank account

The same mobile phone number can be linked only to one account for each bank, i.e., the same mobile phone number can be linked to several accounts in different banks, but only to one account for each institution.

Each bank determines its own linking procedure. However, in general terms, the procedure to link a mobile phone number to a bank account includes the following steps:

  • 1. The user must request the service directly at the bank branch or by electronic media such as those offered through internet or mobile devices. When the request is made through a mobile phone, it must be done from the number that is going to be linked to the deposit account. This request is free of charge.
  • 2. The bank will notify its client that the mobile phone number has been linked to the account no longer than one business day after the request is received.
  • 3. After receiving the notice of the mobile phone number linking from the bank, the user can receive transfers to be credited to his account using the mobile phone number as the beneficiary account identifier.

 

Banks' obligations regarding the mechanism to link a mobile phone number to a bank account

  • 1. Notify the customer when the mobile phone number linked to the account has been linked, cancelled or changed.
  • 2. When a request to link, cancel or change the mobile phone number registered to an account is submitted through a mobile device, the bank must verify that the request is made from the mobile phone number that the user is requesting to link, unlink or change.
  • 3. Notify customers when deposits or transfers are made through this mechanism.

 

Banks cannot request that the mobile phone service be provided by a specific company to link the mobile phone number to an account. 

Transfer operating scheme when the accounts involved are identified through mobile phone numbers

The chart below shows the general operating scheme for electronic transfers done through the Interbank Electronic Payment System (known by its Spanish acronym, SPEI), for accounts linked to a mobile phone number.

Applicable regulations

Operations of credit institutions and Financiera Rural – Circular 3/2012

  • Article 17, sections I. (C), I. (D), I. (E), I. (F) and II.

 

What to do if the service to link a mobile phone number to a bank account is not available or if transfers cannot be instructed using the mobile phone number to identify the beneficiary account

If your bank is not providing this service, please submit the case to Banco de México electronically at https://www.banxico.org.mx/Oficialia_Solicitante/verSolicitudes.do?idServicioUnico=6.