ATM, Automated Teller Machines, are an electronic banking outlet, that performs unattended banking functions 24/7, without the help of a teller or a bank representative. These computerized machines were first introduced in the early 1980’s. They give bank customers access to their current accounts with a magnetically encoded plastic card and a PIN code.
The primary use of the ATM was to enable users to withdraw money. However, the use of ATMs has evolved and the services offered, although varying from one bank to another, have increased, enabling users to perform several banking operations.
Aside from withdrawing money, users can make deposits in various currencies, generate statements, settle bills, transfer money between accounts, etc…
Despite the fact that the advanced services are exclusively available to the clients of the bank operating the machine, the most important service remains that cardholders have access to their money from any ATM in Lebanon and around the world.
Advanced features provided vary from one country to another; and Lebanese banks are very active in terms of following the technology, whereby in the last years, most banks have introduced new-generation ATMs.
Among services offered by ATMs in Lebanon, we list the cash deposits and withdrawals in various currencies, check deposits, checkbook request, balance inquiry, mini statements. Some ATMs offer extra services, such as transfers between accounts, Recharge Alfa and MTC Touch prepaid lines, postpaid mobile line or a phone land line.
Banks worldwide offer even more advanced services through their ATMs, such as paying all types of utility bills (phone, electricity, Internet), paying loans, settling school fees, etc...
These new ATM functionality have changed the way we deal with banks, they are definitely time savers. They provide customers with means to keep track of their accounts and to settle and deal with financial transactions at their convenience.
Banks are promoting their advanced ATMs within the same context of the online and phone banking, focusing on the convenience, time saving and flexibility to the clients.
To learn more about services offered by ATMs in Lebanon, visit Bnooki.com
Banking secrecy is a hefty subject. Without going into all the minute details, all that you really need to
know for now is: 1) what it is, 2) how it affects you, and 3) how Lebanon applies it.
1) What it is.
Banking secrecy is the principle that a client’s personal and account information is held in confidence
by a bank and not released to the authorities, apart from in the case of criminal convictions such as tax
fraud. The country most famous for its banking secrecy is of course Switzerland, although nowadays
Singapore and Hong Kong are gaining notoriety as places where money can be quietly hoarded away.
Banking secrecy is seen as vital by some because of the need to protect an individual’s privacy. In
Lebanon, the law came into force on September 3, 1956 and helped to increase confidence in the
Lebanese banking system as well as establish Lebanon’s place in the Middle East as a financial hub. It
also gave rise to Lebanon’s nickname as ‘the Switzerland of the Middle East.’
2) How it affects you.
In practice, what banking secrecy in Lebanon means for the average Joe is that you have more privacy
than you would have opening a bank in another country where banking secrecy is not the law. But over
the past few years there have been issues with the banking secrecy law, which we’ll look at below.
3) How Lebanon applies the banking secrecy rules.
Many governments and NGOs look disfavourably on banking secrecy laws as they see them as an aid
to money laundering and other crimes. Lebanon tackles this issue by focusing on fostering interagency
and global cooperation in the form of the Special Investigation Commission and the Banking Control
Commission. However, in July this year, US law decreed that all financial institutions in Lebanon had to
conform to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This means that the banking secrecy
laws in Lebanon would be breached. To get around FATCA and to avoid this happening, US citizens are
being asked to sign a waiver and suspicious incidents are being processed on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Special Investigation Commission, in 2013, 301 cases were brought to their attention.
The banking secrecy law was lifted 17 times and 46 are still under investigation. What will happen in the
future as regulations concerning banking get more stringent is yet to be seen. But what is sure is that
Lebanon’s banking secrecy laws are not going anywhere soon.
For more information on banking in Lebanon, visit Bnooki.com.
Nowadays the internet is everywhere in our lives, and when the banks’ counters in Lebanon close at 2pm (helpfully slap bang in the middle of a working day), how much more convenient is it to pop online to your convenient local internet banking service!
Worldwide, online banks are expanding constantly, however since opening accounts remotely is not legally authorized in Lebanon, Lebanese banks offer to their clients the convenience of banking online with specified transactions and services.
So what do you need to look out for when choosing an online only bank? Of course you need to read the fine print carefully, as you should do when opening an account at any regular bank. Check for any hidden catches in areas such as hidden fees, minimum balance requirements, etc… If you are a technophobe then maybe internet banking isn’t for you, but for those of you willing to learn there are many benefits.
Online banking, or internet or web banking as it is also known, offers all the services of a regular bank, but with 24-hour access. In addition, services such as transfers, online bill payment, mobile and telephone banking are also offered by the best online banks. Even if they don’t have direct ATM access, the reduced overhead costs mean they can refund transaction fees as well as offer savings and pay higher interest rates, which nowadays is something we’re all looking for.
Since online banks are not permitted in Lebanon, most Lebanese banks offer online services for basic cashless transactions such as viewing accounts and recent transactions, downloading bank statements, ordering checkbooks, etc… Banks ready to go the extra mile and offer more convenience to their clients would allow online transfers, bill and card payments, loan applications, etc…
The Lebanese online banking system is not as advanced as the global market because of the tight rules and regulations that the law imposes on it. This is further hampered by the fact that a significant percentage of the Lebanese population is still not comfortable using the internet when it comes to finance. However, this is set to change in the future as more and more banks offer more convenient and secure online facilities.
One way to keep up-to-date with the world of online banking is to check out Global Finance’s Best Consumer Internet Banks Awards 2014 which took place in October, 2014. The awards recognize banks that provide excellent online services for customers, as well as offering a wide range of online services and user-friendly websites.
With bnooki.com, check and compare Lebanese banks’ online banking offers by clicking http://www.bnooki.com/services/online-banking/list.
Bnooki is a free online platform that gathers data, products and all kind of banking services offered by all banks in Lebanon.
It allows you to compare all banks and choose the services that fit your requirements. Find What You want from banks and compare more Than 500 loans, cards, accounts, and more from 21 banks.
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week in Lebanon, and on Thursday November 20 and Friday November 21, 2014 Banque du Liban is hosting Lebanon’s first international startup conference for Lebanese entrepreneurs: Banque du Liban Accelerate 2014 at Forum de Beyrouth.
In December 2013 in a bid to boost the Lebanese economy, the Lebanese bank Banque du Liban launched the ground-breaking Intermediate Circular 331 in Lebanon at the Banque du Liban Startup Workshop. It stated that around $400 million of equity financing (75% of which is guaranteed by the Lebanese Central Bank) would be provided by Lebanese banks to Lebanese startups, venture capitals, incubators and accelerators working in Lebanon who can prove that they are in some way contributing to the nation’s knowledge economy.
To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the Circular, Banque du Liban Accelerate 2014 will bring together over 50 international speakers, including top entrepreneurs, investors, and knowledge-economy stakeholders, and 1000 select delegates to outline Blueprints for Success and to lay the foundation for establishing Lebanon as a premier international startup hub to match London, Berlin, Singapore, Toronto, Santiago, and Moscow.
The main conference agenda will involve keynote addresses, workshops, panels, and fireside chats with leading names in today’s international startup scene, including veteran VCs from Silicon Valley and New York and seasoned entrepreneurs from London, Berlin, and Paris.
In addition, 2 other threads to the conference will be held in the Startup Square and the Ecosystem Plaza. These will be running in parallel and will provide attendees with the opportunity to benefit from a wide range of Lebanese and international know-how. The Startup Square will also be the scene for the Lebanese leg of the Seedstars World Startup Competition. This international competition ties in with Banque du Liban Circular 331 and will be the arena for 50 Lebanese startups who will pitch their bid for a place in the Seedstarts Final in Geneva, Switzerland to win $500, 000 investment. The Banque du Liban Accelerate 2014 Ecosystem Plaza will provide key investors and stakeholders with a powerful platform to deliver valuable startup support activities, and relevant investment opportunities to a high caliber international audience.
All in all, this promises to be an inspiring and highly productive event, with the potential to kick-start a new wave of entrepreneurship here in Lebanon.
For more information on business loans for entrepreneurs in Lebanon, visit http://www.bnooki.com