thousands of clients have their savings hanging in a bureaucratic limbo due to laziness

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Bnext is one of the neobanks that have proliferated in Spain in recent years. For a long time it operated offering financial services without its own infrastructure, something it achieved thanks to the platform Pecunpayfrom the company Pecunia Cards, a wholesale financial institution that provides cards and financial services to neobanks without a banking license, such as 2gether or bit2me. Bnext obtained the license from the Bank of Spain in 2020 and from the beginning of 2021 he was able to bring his clients to his new and own infrastructure.

The problem is that to complete this migration it was not enough to press a button and the system would take care of it, but the process had to be completed by each user. Bnext began to send an email advising of the change and urging its clients to comply with the proceduresomething that served to more than 200,000 clients made the leap and became active. But as Pecunpay explains to Xatakathe total number of cards issued for Bnext rose to almost 450,000.

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In the process, many customers have ignored these emails. And for legal purposes, they are still clients of Pecunpay, not of Bnext, although many are not even aware of it and are not clear on how to solve the situation. In part, due to not accessing the inbox where the emails arrive or simply not reading them

The consequence: many of them have money frozen in an account to which they do not have access and they have not been entirely clear on how to proceed. And on the other side, customers who abandoned their accounts without canceling them, and now find that they are Pecunpay customers and cannot unsubscribe, despite having requested it, due to the bottleneck that is taking place in the process of migration and cancellation of the current Pecunpay clients.

Consequences of not reading emails

This scenario of confusion is also given by the character of a complementary bank that Bnext has had since its inception. It was not intended to become a major bank and lacked the usual products or capabilities in large banks, it aimed to be an alternative partner to obtain benefits in online purchases or money management via app.

Some users simply stopped using Bnext, and also stopped responding to the communications that came from their app or their email. That has complicated the process. This is the case of Carlos (name changed at his request). For years he used Bnext for his day-to-day expenses and to benefit from promotions such as cash-back on Aliexpress. Some time later, he changed to another neobank and 14 cents were forgotten in the Bnext account. At the end of 2020, the emails began to arrive notifying of the change in Bnext.

emails

Emails from Bnext received by Carlos summoning him to complete the procedure to move to the new infrastructure.

You also got notifications from the app. He ended up deleting it. “I did not read any of the emails, it is that I did not want to know anything about them. My thought was: if I don’t say anything, they will cancel my account. I don’t want the 14 cents for nothing. I wasn’t planning on changing or reading anything, I had nothing to lose,” she explains. It didn’t exactly work like that.

Bnext gave until November 27, 2021 to complete the process. But, the clients of the old Bnext became clients of Pecunpay from January 1. Not by anyone’s whim, but by pure legislative inheritance. Bnext clients, for legal purposes, were Pecunpay clients.

Carlos responded by announcing that he did not want to be a Pecunpay client, without further ado. He did not receive a response for several days and wrote another email, this time using a platform of tracking to find out if it had been read and attaching the usual documentation (DNI on both sides and certificate of bank ownership of the account to which you ask to send the remaining funds). At that time he received a response indicating that the process to be able to extract the balance from him (the 14 cents pending) had an associated commission.

Email Migration

Email exchanged by Carlos with Pecunpay informing him of the steps necessary to process the cancellation of his account, as well as the corresponding commission for this procedure.

We talked to Pecunia Cards to understand this fee. “This management after a cancellation is an operation carried out by a person and has a cost, and we break it down in our rate list“, they explain to us from the entity. This specifically, a fixed cost of ten euros. Although the outstanding balance is much lower. The problem for this type of client is that they have forgotten their accounts in a neobank that, due to its business model, used to not transfer certain expenses to the client, such as card issuance or ATM withdrawals, but Pecunpay, as a wholesaler that has inherited these clients, does charge. Another source of conflict: customers discovering that to cancel their account they had to leave it at zero, and that procedure cost them ten euros.

And there are still a few to settle their Pecunpay accounts. From this entity they affirm that “we do not have any product for these clients, because we are wholesalers, we cannot provide them with any kind of service, but by law we have to keep their balance from when they were Bnext clients until they decide to take it away”. An inherited problem that they would not have wanted, but that a mix between legislation, bureaucracy and lack of interest on the part of clients who forgot their presence in Bnext has occurred.

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Two people to process the casualties… which are already five

According to Pecunpay, they have received just over 5,562 emails from customers requesting their cancellation from January 1 to February 14. Which are divided as follows:

  • 1,014 have not yet received a response.
  • 2,356 have been able to cancel their account and the outstanding amount has been refunded.
  • 1,366 have requested their withdrawal but have not yet sent the documentation.
  • 826 have made other types of queries or they were duplicate queries.

And the number will continue to rise. A wave of casualty requests that has caught Pecunia Cards on the wrong foot, little used to this volume of requests: had two employees dedicated to processing these registrations, and because of this process it has hired three more. Take advantage of the interview with Xataka to send a “reassuring” message to customers who wish to cancel their accounts and return their amounts, “and we require calm and a little patience”.

Pecunpay faces a bottleneck: although cancellation managers have gone from 2 to 5, it requires “a little patience” due to the high volume

Even so, from Bnext they consider that the migration has been “a success” since it has been completed in less time than expected and surpassing the initial objectives, according to the company, and managing to “resurrect” 65,000 inactive users who despite this have decided to migrate their account.

Carlos confesses to having understood the entire process and the situation thanks to the interview he had with Xataka in which we were detailing the reason for each movement. “It’s the first time someone has explained it to me like this, and now I see sense in it; if I had known about it before, I would have canceled my account on time,” he tells us.

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In these weeks, peculiar cases have arisen asking for the cancellation of the Pecunpay account. Most customers had low remaining amounts, from a few cents to a few tens of euros. A lady, on the other hand, had 1,500 euros pending rescue, according to what they tell us from the company. There was also a unique case: that of a client fed up with paperwork who showed up at the offices to process his cancellation. “It’s not usual, in fact we never work like this, but since we were there, we gave her the ten euros that she had pending and canceled her account at the time”.

Bnext, having overcome this process, is working on projects such as B3X, your own token, which will enter the public phase on March 1; or the almost three million euros of financing that he achieved in Crowdcube. This has built its brand image around a freshness far removed from traditional banks, something that perhaps it worked against you in making your inactive customers understand the implications of leaving the app without worrying about a formal cancellation. Once they were in the hands of Pecunpay, many of them did not even understand what they were doing in that entity and refused to communicate with it or provide them with the documentation required by law to process their withdrawal, limiting themselves to a request by email. Now they only have a little patience left, as the company requested… and send their ID and the certificate of ownership of the IBAN to which they want to send their remaining balance.

Bnext is one of the neobanks that have proliferated in Spain in recent years. For a long time it operated…

Bnext is one of the neobanks that have proliferated in Spain in recent years. For a long time it operated…

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