Slovakia - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
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Methods of Payment

There are special credit programs available for small and medium enterprises. The availability of credit for SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises) is based on their credit rating.

Large-scale project financing may be obtained from the multilateral lending institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Methods of payment are similar to those in the United States and other countries including via Swift, letters of credit, bank guarantees, and open terms.

Primary credit or charge cards include Visa, VisaElectron, MasterCard, Maestro, and Diners Club.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

Banking Systems

The Slovak banking system is based upon a European model and is governed by the Slovak Banking Act. Under Slovak law, commercial banks may engage in investment banking and brokerage activities, as well as traditional commercial transactions and lending. These activities are subject to licensing and supervision by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), which controls minimum capital, reserve requirements, and bank supervision. Adoption of the Council Regulation (EU) No. 1024/2013 transfers the authorization and supervision of over three quarters of the banks located in Slovakia to the ECB.

Foreign banks can establish representative offices or full-fledged branches. Representative offices are limited to offering advice and informing clients of the services of the parent bank. Branches may handle any transactions authorized by the parent bank. Foreign banks must agree to take over the assets and liabilities of their branches, effectively guaranteeing the financial health of the branch. Foreign banks in Slovakia have concentrated on providing international payment services and loans to foreign clients or Slovak companies with extensive export business.

The Inter-Bank Payment System (abbreviate SIPS in Slovak) is operated through the National Bank of Slovakia. By law, all banks are obliged to carry out their domestic payment transactions through this center. Security of the Inter-Bank Payment System in Slovakia is based on a high level of data protection during all stages of processing and settlement at the National Bank of Slovakia. All participants in the Inter-Bank Payment System must have a backup facility for both data transfer and processing.

The single EUR Payments Area (SEPA) removed the boundaries for the execution of cashless payments in the Euro zone. All consumers, businesses, and other economic operators within the SEPA can send and receive payments in EUR, whether within a country or between countries, under the same basic conditions, rights, and obligations, and without regard to the country in which they hold a payment account. As a result of SEPA payment instruments, domestic payment instruments (for credit transfers and direct debits) are no longer used.  SEPA payments are carried out according to the same rules, the same procedures and in accordance with the same standards in all SEPA countries (Iceland, Norway, the European Union countries, plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco). IBAN and SWIFT Codes are used uniformly for payments within and across the SEPA countries.

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are generally no foreign-exchange controls in Slovakia. Slovakia adopted the Euro as its national currency on January 1, 2009. For more information, please visit the National Bank of Slovakia site.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

Citibank Europe plc., is the only subsidiary of a U.S. bank with a physical presence in Slovakia.

Other banks in Slovakia that have correspondent relationships with U.S. banks include:

— Prima banka Slovensko

— Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, NY

— Tatra banka (through Tatra Raiffeisen, Austria)

— Bank of America, N.A., NY

— The Bank of New York Mellon, NY

— Standard Chartered Bank New York

— Unicredit Banka

— JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, NY

—Bank of America National Association, Charlotte

— Eximbanka SR

— Cooperation Agreement with the Chase Manhattan Bank of New York

— Memorandum of Understanding with the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

 For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statements.