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Bizum: How it works and what you need to know before you use it

Bizum has become the best solution for sending money to friends, family, and acquaintances. But how does Bizum work? Is it as simple as it seems?

6 min read

Ever had the headache of trying to divide a restaurant bill between friends? Or bought drinks for someone who always seems to leave their wallet at home?

With Bizum, you can make sure that no debt is left unpaid. It enables transfers between individuals and companies—all via your smartphone. But how does Bizum work? What do you need to start using it? And is it compatible with every smartphone?

If these questions have got your head spinning, then sit back and relax. The following article summarizes what you can do with Bizum, what you’ll need to remember when using it, and what you should pay attention to when sending money.

The fastest and easiest way to send and receive money instantly

Bizum allows you to make payments or request money safely and easily. All you need is your account number (Spanish IBAN) from a bank linked to Bizum, a smartphone, and the mobile number of the person you want to send money to or receive money from.

To use it, check that your bank uses Bizum and link it to your account. The steps to do this may vary depending on your bank, but they’re usually as follows:

  1. Open your banking app.
  2. Head to the Bizum section of the app.
  3. Link your Spanish IBAN to your mobile number.
  4. Choose whether you want to send or receive money.
  5. Enter the sender or recipient’s mobile number (either manually or by selecting it from the contact list on your phone).
  6. Confirm the transaction with the code you receive.
  7. And that’s it! The transfer or transfer request is complete.

Bizum emerged as a joint initiative of several Spanish banks. The aim was to simplify the procedures and bureaucracy of traditional transfers, while maintaining the same standards and security—and all completed in seconds.

Sending, receiving, and requesting money in a matter of seconds has many advantages, but you also need to understand its limitations before you start using it.

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A new payment method for online purchases

As well as paying for your online purchases by card, via PayPal accounts or transfers, you can also now pay with Bizum. Currently, 36,000 Spanish businesses accept this new payment system—including big names like Alsa, Renfe, Air Europa, and Decathlon.

To pay for purchases with Bizum on e-commerce sites, most banks require a 4-digit password that you can get through your banking app. With N26, however, you don’t need a password. Simply finalize your purchase and validate the payment from your N26 app like any other online purchase.

Paying online with Bizum is completely free—you can spend as you please without fear of being charged any surprise commission fees.

Another perk that Bizum offers is that you can donate to some of the world’s most important NGOs with a simple, quick, secure, and 100% transparent money transfer. This feature isn’t available with N26 yet, but we’re working to offer it soon, so stay tuned!

Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and Amnesty International, among others, all accept Bizum donations. Donations are commission-free and completely free of charge—so all the money goes to the NGO of your choice.

To make your donation through this system, you’ll need each NGO’s remittance code, which you’ll have to include together with the donation amount to finalize the transfer. Just like all other Bizum payments, the transaction will be completed in seconds.

You can send up to €1,000 in each donation (make sure this is the same as the maximum set by your bank), although there’s no limit on the total number of donations.

Lastly, if you need a donation certificate, you can send an email directly to the NGO with your details and they’ll forward you the corresponding document verifying your payment.

What Bizum can’t do

Although everyone’s talking about how Bizum has revolutionized payments, there are some limitations that are worth keeping in mind before you start using the service:

  • Payments to overseas accounts aren’t permitted. However, you can make payments to foreign phone numbers linked to Spanish accounts.
  • You can’t send money to someone who doesn’t have Bizum. If you send a Bizum transfer to someone without a bank account linked to Bizum, they’ll receive a request to download Bizum and the transfer will be completed once they’ve installed it. The same applies if you request money from someone who doesn’t have Bizum: The transaction will be placed on hold until they register.
  • You can’t link several bank accounts to the same mobile number, but you can link several mobile numbers to the same bank account.

How does Bizum work in physical stores?

Many stores already accept payments through Bizum, which offers even more added value to users. Although the payment is in person, the purchase experience is similar to digital transactions, as it takes place through a payment gateway. To use Bizum as a payment method, the store must be registered on the payment system through a third-party platform like Monei or Paycomet.

Some banks also offer solutions for businesses through their own apps, where a QR code is generated for consumers to make their purchases.

Bizum for invoice payments

Just like businesses, if you’re self-employed, you can start receiving payments from customers via Bizum. Of course, remember that you must contact your bank to select this option, as it’s a different way of sending money between individuals.

The person paying for your services pays in the same way as they would on e-commerce sites.

Staying secure when using Bizum

As you might imagine, Bizum is not immune to scams. Payments through Bizum are very common on digital platforms that connect individual sellers and buyers, where transactions demand an element of trust.

So, with any purchase that you make on these types of platforms (like resale websites, for example), make sure that you get the product before or at the same time as making the Bizum payment. This is in your best interest, because the app isn’t liable if you get scammed.

To help you avoid scammers, we’ve compiled a list of the most common red flags to be aware of when sending money with Bizum:

  • The seller offers a high-end item at a ridiculously low price.
  • The phone number that they ask you to send the payment to is different from the one they use to communicate with you.
  • The name of the person registered on Bizum is different from the name of the seller with whom you’ve agreed to the sale.
  • The seller doesn’t have a sales history on the platform and doesn’t have a good rating.
  • When you search the phone number on Google, it appears to be linked to a scam.

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Send money in a few taps with N26

That’s right: A commission-free bank account with N26 is free and includes a virtual Mastercard, which you can use to pay via your mobile through Google Pay or Apple Pay—no matter where you are. As well as being able to manage your savings based on your priorities, N26 offers you secure, convenient, and fast transfers with just a few taps in your banking app. Become part of the digital banking revolution—choose the N26 account that suits you best and start enjoying the many perks of your new online account.

¿Cuándo se tiene que declarar un Bizum?

Si tienes un negocio y usas Bizum como método de pago, tienes que declarar el importe como venta o servicio.

¿Qué bancos ofrecen Bizum para empresas?

Estos son los bancos que tienen disponible el servicio de Bizum para empresas:

CaixaBank, Santander, Banca Pueyo, BBVA, Bankia, CaixaBank, Caixa Guissona, Caixa Ontinyent, Sabadell, Unicaja Banco, Cajasur, Kutxabank, Caja Rural, Ibercaja, Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Laboral Kutxa, Evo, Banco Caminos, Arquia Banca, Banco Mediolanum, N26, BancaMarch, Eurocaja Rural, ING, Targobank y Openbank.

¿Cuánto puedes recibir por Bizum al mes?

Puedes recibir un importe máximo de 5.000 € al mes.

¿Qué pasa si haces un Bizum a alguien que no tiene Bizum?

Si has enviado un Bizum a una persona que no está dada de alta en el servicio, puedes cancelar el envío. Por otra parte, la persona destinataria del dinero tiene hasta 2 días para descargarse la app (o vincular su cuenta bancaria con este método de pago), darse de alta y aceptar o rechazar el Bizum.

Cómo rechazar un pago por Bizum

En caso de que se equivoquen y te envíen a ti dinero por error (o no quieras que te paguen esas cervezas a las que querías invitar) puedes rechazar una solicitud de pago por Bizum a través de la app móvil de tu banco: selecciona la opción “rechazar” en la orden de pago.

¿Cuánto tiempo se puede rechazar un Bizum?

Tienes hasta 7 días para aceptar o rechazar un Bizum.

¿Qué hacer si te han estafado por Bizum?

Si has sido víctima de una estafa por Bizum, ponte en contacto con tu entidad bancaria y presenta una denuncia a la policía. Procura dar el máximo de datos posibles a los agentes para que puedan ayudarte a localizar al estafador. ¡Ten cuidado!

Which ATMs can I use to withdraw money with my physical N26 card?

With your N26 card, you can withdraw money for free from any ATM, regardless of the bank it’s associated with. Some ATM operators may charge you a €2 fee, but don’t worry: you can request a refund by contacting our Customer Support.

If you'd rather avoid paying the fee from the outset, simply use ATMs associated with the 15 banks listed here.

Which ATMs can I use to withdraw money with my virtual N26 card?

If you have a virtual N26 card rather than a physical one, you can withdraw money at any ATM enabled with NFC technology. All you have to do is place your smartphone near the ATM’s contactless scanner, enter your PIN number, and then enter the amount you’d like to withdraw. That’s it!

How do I deposit money into my N26 account?

You can deposit money into your N26 account using Cash26. This feature allows you to deposit and withdraw money at 1,255 stores in Spain — as well as Austria, Italy, Grece and Germany — right from your N26 app. Withdrawing money with Cash 26 is free, while deposits carry a charge of 1.5% — with a minimum of €50 and a maximum of €999 per day.

What documents do I need to open an N26 account?

To open an N26 bank account, you’ll need an official identity document accepted in the country where you live. For more information about the requirements for opening an N26 account, visit this link.

Are N26 plans subject to service charges?

In short, no — N26 bank accounts don’t have service charges, or fees for opening or closing an account. If you decide to open a premium N26 Smart, N26 You, or N26 Metal account, you’ll have to pay a monthly membership fee, but you still won’t pay any of the fees mentioned above. Also, with the N26 Smart account, you won’t have to pay fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs in Europe, and with N26 You and N26 Metal, you can withdraw money from anywhere in the world for free.

What type of cards does N26 offer?

N26 only offers debit cards. This means that if you’re looking for a credit card, an N26 account may not be the best option for you.

By N26

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