Switching banks in one click

For the first time ever, since September 2021, bank customers in Israel can switch banks with little more than a few mouse clicks. The purpose of this move is to encourage competition in the financial market, enabling you to identify the bank offering the best banking terms for you.

While previous generations valued morals such as loyalty and reliability, today’s generation no longer sees a reason to remain loyal to service providers failing to deliver, and aren’t afraid to move on. Furthermore, whereas switching between communication service providers (i.e. mobile, internet and T-V), was simplified not much has changed in the world of banking, and disappointed customers remained frustrated by the complexity and bureaucracy involved in switching banks.

So the Bank of Israel announced a series of measures designed to enhance competition, enabling people to easily and effortlessly switch banks.

Key advantages – Switching banks is now quick and easy, it’s free, it doesn’t require visiting the incumbent bank that you wish to leave, and no less important – the new bank takes care of everything- including transferring financial activity and informing all bodies with whom you’re financially engaged.

When to switch banks? Don’t hesitate if your bank is failing to deliver on service quality. It’s especially worth evaluating other options around major events, such as weddings, child-birth or career change. Such events may reveal financial implications, and therefore present the perfect opportunity to reassess terms and conditions offered by your bank.

To do this I recommend you follow Pa’amonims’ guidelines:

  1. Review your current banking situation. Make a list of automatic payments, deposits, and recurring transfers. Question your entitlement for services and validate banking fees charged for various transactions.
  2. Negotiate terms with your current bank – if you’re a longstanding or a substantial customer, you’ll have an advantage at your current bank who will be eager to retain your business. Don’t hesitate to reflect your desire to switch banks to improve your present terms.
  3. Research other banking options.
  4. Open a new bank account with the bank of your choice- this can be accomplished online.
  5. Ask the new bank to transfer your account from your existing bank, through their website or app. Within 7 days of your request the new bank will transfer all transactions from your previous bank, and will take responsibility to notify additional bodies associated with your banking activities (small transactions, standing orders, payments, etc.). Additionally, a complimentary “follow-me” service will be activated for a period of 2 years, and will automatically reroute credits or debits reaching your previous bank.

Key things to know before beginning the process:

  • The vast majority of your financial activity can be easily transferred in one click.
  • Some transactions may require manual intervention and should be discussed with the new bank.

Activities that cannot be transferred online may include deposits and savings accounts, loans (including mortgage) and guarantees, postdated checks and any other financial product pledged to the bank.

  • Switching accounts requires mutual consent and signatures of all account holders.
  • An over drawn account cannot be transferred.
  • Business and corporate accounts, foreign nationals accounts, and trustee accounts are amongst those that cannot be transferred in a click.
About the Author
Sharon Levin has an M.A. in Public Policy and is a certified Group Facilitator. She has worked for Paamonim since 2009, lead roles include Regional Director responsible for Paamonim's volunteers who provide free one-on-one financial counseling. As Director of Group Activities, she headed the establishment of Paamonim College for Financial Education, offering courses, programs, and lectures teaching financial fundamentals to participants, all geared towards helping people acquire financial education for better living.
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