On 18 September 2016 new rules enter into force in Germany regarding account switching. Banks are obliged to help their customers switching accounts by transferring standing orders and other services to another provider in an uncomplicated manner upon request of the customer according to section 20 of the payment account act (ZahlungskontengesetzZKG). The payment services provider has to provide extensive support in a short time frame.  The receiving payment service provider is obliged to perform the switching service upon receipt of the authorisation from the consumer. Inter alia, the authorisation allows the consumer to specifically identify incoming credit transfers, standing orders for credit transfers and direct debit mandates that are to be switched. The authorisation also allows consumers to specify the date from which standing orders for credit transfers and direct debits are to be executed from the payment account opened or held with the receiving payment service provider. If a bank breaches this obligation, the receiving bank and the transferring bank are jointly and severally liable to the customer.

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