Unicaja Banco has been promoting a set of measures since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis to support its customers and to ensure their safety and also that of its employees. The bank continues with its financial activity through its different channels, as an essential community service under the current state of alarm, and it focus its effort in the launch of flexible payment and funding solutions for its customers, especially for those in a situation of vulnerability, under the priority of ensuring service and protecting the health of employees and customers.
In line with the healthcare recommendations, the bank encourages and promotes the use of electronic resources and channels such as ATMs, digital banking (web and app) or card payment, in addition to customer service over the phone and through its social media profiles. Unicaja Banco has also activated a prevention and action plan, as well as a permanent follow-up committee, in compliance with the authorities’ recommendations.
No fees at ATMs to withdraw cash and flexibility in menas of payment
Unicaja Banco will not charge any fee for withdrawing cash on debit at any ATM of the national territory during the state of alarm, as it has joined the initiative launched by CECA. The goal of this measure is to allow customers who need to withdraw cash to got to the closest ATM to their homes, regardless of the bank they belong to, thus reducing travels.
In addition to this initiative, the contactless payment limit in cards and contactless devices has been temporarily increased from 20 to 50 euros, in order to reduce the transactions where it is necessary to enter the PIN number.
Support to individuals, businesses and freelancers
Furthermore, Unicaja Banco has brought forward the payment of unemployment benefits to contribute to mitigate the consequences of the health crisis on those in a situation of vulnerability, subscribing the initiative of the sectorial associations in collaboration with the Public State Employment Service (Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal, SEPE).
The bank is also working to apply as efficiently as possible the actions adopted by the Government, like the moratorium on the payment of mortgages of the main residence, and other loans, for those in a situation of vulnerability. As a reinforcement to this measure, Unicaja Banco is providing its support to those people undergoing economic difficulties caused by this crisis, and it is offering measures adopted to each particular case, to facilitate the repayment of loans (extended terms, interest-only periods or flexibilization in repayment conditions).
It also gives the holders of life and accident insurance the possibility of splitting the payment of insurance premiums at no cost.
With regard to the support to freelancers and businesses, the bank facilitates measures to allow flexibilization in financing conditions (extended terms, interest-only periods or flexibilization in repayment conditions in general), which are adapted to each particular case. Likewise, it offers funding under the ICO facility of public guarantees approved by the Government.
As support to the elderly, a risk group in this situation of global pandemic, Unicaja Banco decided to bring the payment of pensions forward to 24 March, at no cost for customers. The pensions were available to be collected at branches and ATMs. Additionally, with a view to protect their health, the bank contacted pensioners to inform them of the different options available (ATM, card payment or use of digital channels) and to offer them a better service through the organization of appointments to be attended at branches.
Actions in means of payments for shops
Unicaja Banco also support shops through the adoption of measures as the temporary waiver of maintenance fees for physical POS terminals and facilities for telematic processing. The bank offers the possibility of requesting virtual POS as means of payment. Another adopted measure is the availability, for certain shops, of payment by e-mail through virtual POS.
With regard to GPRS POS, Unicaja Banco is giving priority to their installation in essential service shops, such as gas stations, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, take-away, dry cleaners and tobacco shops.
Reinforced prevention protocols at branches
As for the network of branches, the bank has activated a reinforced prevention protocol at branches, and it has increased the hygiene and cleaning measures, including ATMs, as well as the installation of protective screens and signaling bands, and the maintenance of a preventive distance of two metres, as the main measures to protect customers and employees.
Unicaja Banco has carried out a communication where it recommends the use of its branches exclusively for those transactions which cannot be made through ATMs, digital banking (web and app) or phone banking, taking into account, additionally, the convenience of remaining at the branch for as short as possible.
To protect its customers and to inform them of the fight against cybercrime, which has increased since the beginning of the crisis, Unicaja Banco has proactively communicated different recommendations, such as disregarding e-mails requesting confidential information and asking to carry out any action related to personal data, cards or bank accounts. Customers are encouraged to report to the bank immediately if they are told that there is a possibility that they have their cards blocked or cancelled. Unicaja Banco reminds that it never asks customers to provide by phone or by e-mail their access passwords, account numbers or credit or debit card numbers.