Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions


“General terms and conditions” means the contract that bonsai has with you, its user. Because, when you use our App, bonsai provides services to you and collects data from you. To do so in a transparent way, we explain the rules that apply to us and to you when using the App.

The most important point here is that when you download and use the App, you agree to the rules as explained hereafter. You expressly agree that the contractual language is English and that all information will be in English (including these Terms and Conditions, the Application and all information available in the Application). And, by using the App, you agree that all communications and documents are sent by email or in another electronic way (e.g. available in the Application or on the website). If you do not agree with these terms, you cannot and should not use our App.

What is also important is that we use “Data”, meaning all personal details about you that are visible in the App and all personal details you have provided to us and all personal information we link to this data. Please read our Privacy Policy to know which data we save, process, and what we do with it.

These “General terms and conditions” are also accessible via our App.
Who is bonsai?

Bonsai is a payment institution. Bonsai is not a bank. Bonsai does not not hold your money on an account, but it is supervised by the National Bank of Belgium because it can initiate payments for you, access your bank accounts and provide you information about those accounts.

The Belgian Law of 11 March 2018 on the legal status and supervision of payment institutions and electronic money institutions is governing our activities. And, according to European regulations, we can offer our services also in other countries of the European Union (“EU”). For the time being, we are only operating in Belgium, but we will list additional countries on our website when we extend our activities.

Bonsai NV is a Belgian public company with its registered office in Belgium, in 9050 Gent, Jules Destréelaan 63B. The company’s VAT number (and at the same time its number in the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises – KBO/CBE) is BE0 663.774.859. Our website is bonsai – the payment app that plants trees – pay back the planet (paybonsai.com).

The address of the supervisory authority is the National Bank of Belgium, Boulevard de Berlaimont 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.


Occasionally, bonsai sends messages through its App’s internal communication tool. This could be a notification in the App or a push message to your smartphone. These could be all kinds of notifications such as promotional campaigns or extra cashback possibilities. If you do not like receiving push messages, you can turn this feature off on your smartphone. We communicate with you in Dutch and English, please use one of those languages for contacting us at Contact bonsai for all your questions, remarks and more.

Our Services

If you are older than 16 years, bonsai allows you to make and receive payments and to receive information about your bank accounts. All rights and advantages, such as cashback or rewards under a loyalty program, are strictly personal to you, our member. You cannot transfer these in any manner to another person.

The bonsai App can offer these services because you link it to your bank account. European legislation requires you to renew that link every 90 calendar days. Bonsai sends you a warning about renewing on time.

If you share a joint bank account with someone else, you confirm by linking the account that your joint account holder agrees with our services and that she or he accepts bonsai processing data in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

A. Registration as bonsai user

As part of your registration, you have to add a ‘Payer Account’ (bank account) and give explicit consent to:

  1. granting bonsai as ‘Creditor’ a so-called European Sepa Direct Debit CORE-mandate on its Payer Account (“SDD mandate”).
  2. to allow bonsai as your payment service provider, access to your Payer Account.

Practically speaking, you will be automatically redirected to the banking application of your bank (also called ‘ASPSP’ meaning ‘Account Servicing Payment Service Provider’). You will need to login with your bank credentials and follow the strong customer authentication procedure put in place by your bank. Once that is completed, your SDD mandate is validated and bonsai will have access to the Payer Account. In other words, that SDD mandate makes it possible for your bank (the Payer’s ASPSP) to recognize and execute bonsai instructions as ‘Creditor’, based on the following information:

  • Payer: name and address as indicated during the registration
  • Creditor: bonsai NV – Jules Destréelaan 63B, 9050 Gentbrugge.
  • Creditor Identifier: BE39ZZZ0663774859
  • IBAN: the Payer Account
  • Identification of the underlying contract: purchasing of services and goods through the Application
  • Type of payment: recurrent

Of course, you can always revoke the SDD mandate by sending a request to support@paybonsai.com.

The access to the Payer Account allows bonsai to provide account information services and/or payment initiation services. Having granted such access, the Payer authorizes bonsai to check the balance from the Payer Account upon execution of a payment with the Application (“Available Amount”) and/or allows bonsai to initiate the payment directly from the Payer Account from the Payer upon execution of a payment with the Application (“Payment Initiation”).

B. Making payments

The legal definition goes as follows: “A service for initiating a payment order, by request of the payment service user, to debit a payment account held by the user with another payment service provider in order to credit another bank account”.

To make this simple: you can make payments using our App from your bank account to other bank accounts. When you decide to make a payment, you send an “initiation” through our App and we send that to your bank. The bank completes the payment. That transfer is your responsibility, just like with any other payment method. Bonsai is not responsible for a payment you have done with our App. The same goes for any automatic payment you have set up, until you cancel it. Because you make the payment with money on your bank account, you cannot transfer more money than your bank allows.

You can only use the Application after downloading the Application, accepting these terms and conditions and completing the registration process. By downloading the Application, you obtain a strictly personal, non-exclusive use of the Application, including future updates. It is clearly agreed that no property rights or intellectual property rights are transferred to you. bonsai reserves all rights related to the Application. The trade names, marks and logos are equally property of bonsai and may not be used without prior approval of bonsai.

Downloading the Application is free, but network costs are exclusively for you.

C. Receiving payments

According to the legal definition (under the Law of 11 March 2018), bonsai’s service consists of “acceptance of payment transactions”. This means that bonsai concludes an agreement with you, its member, enabling you to receive money on your bank account as beneficiary for the acceptance and processing of payment transactions. This could be payments by yourself, from another bank account, or by other persons or entities.

D. Account information

The legal definition goes as follows: “An online service to provide consolidated information on one or more payment accounts held by the payment service user with either another payment service provider or with more than one payment service provider.”

To make this simple: we provide to you all the information about your bank account. Because you link your bank account to our App, you can see your bonsai available balance in the App. For this reason, bonsai is never responsible for any damages due to the way you manage your money.

E. Cashback

Every time you pay a merchant with your linked account(s), bonsai checks if that payment matches with the cashback program with that merchant. This allows bonsai to you give you back cash strictly on the basis of your payments, without you having to scan a separate loyalty card.

The partners of bonsai are merchants participating in our cashback program. The list of these merchants is available in the App and on our website, which changes from time to time.

Bonsai only pays for transactions executed during the program. Bonsai may receive remuneration, commission, rebate, or other payments or benefits from its merchant partners directly or indirectly in connection with the cashback program.

F. Loyalty card

The App works like a digital loyalty card. Bonsai’s merchant partners offer rewards for payments made by the bonsai members to bonsai’s partners using the App. Bonsai will send transaction details, campaign offers and other promotional messages through SMS and email to its members regarding its loyalty program.

The merchant partners of the loyalty program are responsible and liable for the loyalty program, and any merchandise or service provided by them. This includes but is not limited to quality or fitness of the merchandise supplied or services provided by the merchant partner.

Bonsai reserves the right to terminate the loyalty program, the program’s conditions and its duration.

If you know or suspect that your mobile phone with the App is lost or stolen, or that the PIN or password is known to an unauthorized person, or if you think a transaction has been incorrectly executed you must tell us immediately by calling on +32 478 874 800.

G. Data

To make its services possible, bonsai has to save and process certain personal data. By installing the App, you accept these terms and conditions and you agree that we save and process certain of your data. Please check our Privacy Policy in the App or on our website.

The responsible person for processing (verantwoordelijke voor de verwerking; responsable du traitement) is bonsai NV with registered office at Jules Destréelaan 63B, 9050 Gentbrugge, Belgium.

The purpose of use of the data is to:

  • Deliver the Services.
  • Comply with all applicable legal requirements and guidelines and regulations (e.g. anti-money laundering and statutory record retention periods).
  • Prevent fraud.
  • Set up tests and statistics (market and customer analysis).
  • Adjust and control the quality of the Services.
  • Training of staff.
  • Marketing activities (commercial prospects and direct marketing).

For this purpose, you agree that bonsai collects information directly from you and/or publicly available information, which bonsai can share with its service partners to the extent that sharing information is essential to provide their services and with third authorized parties if and to the extent that the sharing is mandatory for bonsai and/or its outsourcing partners. At any time the Member has the right to request an overview, a rectification, a blocking or a deletion of his/her personal data. To exercise this right, you have to send an email to support@paybonsai.com.

The App features a store locator which allows you to see a list of merchants in the neighborhood where bonsai is accepted. bonsai only has access to your location to show nearby merchants, at the condition to you have approved the request for access in the Application. The request for access is managed by the system provider of the device (e.g. Google or Apple) and subject to its policy.

H. Payment history
The Member has access to an overview of all Activity in the Application up to a period of 5 years. In case you have a large volume of transactions, bonsai preserves the right not to have all the Activity shown into the Application but to make it available upon request at support@paybonsai.com.

I. Safety
1.   Who to call?

If you know or suspect that your mobile phone with the App is lost or stolen, or that the PIN or password isknown to an unauthorized person, or if you think a transaction has been incorrectly executed you must tell us immediately by calling +32 478 874 800. bonsai will, upon receipt of that notification, block the App. You can notify us 24/7 by calling this number. You shall not bear any financial consequences for unauthorized payments that are initiated after bonsai has received the notification.

Bonsai will never be liable if someone else gains access to our App with your smartphone or even if payments are initiated through our App by a third person. For security reasons, please make sure you always have the latest version of our App on your smartphone and that you are running your smartphone’s most recent operating system.

2.   Warnings

You are liable for using the App correctly and for taking all precautionary measures to avoid access by other persons to the App and the Services. Therefore, you should:

  • Not disclose the password or pin code to other people.
  • Not keep the password or pin code with your smartphone or tablet.
  • Never leave the smartphone or the tablet unattended in a publicly accessible place.
  • Not leave your smartphone or tablet in a car.
  • Not lend your smartphone or tablet to other people.

If you fail to keep your pin code or password safe (including theft of smartphone or tablet) and an unauthorized payment is made, you will bear the related losses up to a maximum of €50. However, if an unauthorized payment results from your gross negligence or intended fraud, you will bear all the related losses without any limitation. Gross negligence is, for example:

  • Disclosing your pin code or password to other people.
  • Failing to notify bonsai of the fraud, loss or theft.
  • Keeping your password or pin code with the smartphone or tablet.
3.   Blocking the App

Bonsai can deactivate or block your use of the Application in the following circumstances:

  • bonsai does not succeed in settling payments with the Payer’s or Payee’s Account.
  • bonsai has a suspicion of fraud.
  • bonsai was informed about loss or theft of the device.

A prior notification will be sent to the Member or the Member will be informed immediately afterwards if bonsai has reasonable grounds to consider it more secure not to notify the Payer beforehand.  You will not be entitled to any indemnity in case of blocking or deactivating of the Application.

4.   Reimbursement

You will obtain reimbursement from bonsai if you notify bonsai without undue delay on becoming aware of any unauthorized or incorrectly executed payment transactions giving rise to a claim, and in any case not later than 3 months after the debit date. In case of such notification of unauthorized or incorrectly executed payment and to the extent that bonsai is liable, it shall without undue delay refund the amount of the non-executed or defective payment.

J. Payment flows

As you have a limit for payments to be executed (“Payer Limit”), the App will reduce your Payer Limit to the money available on your bank account (“Available Amount”). Each time a payment is settled, the limit will be updated.

If you are older than 18 years, your Payer Limit at registration will be at least €150 depending on your type of account, which is then increased to €250 after additional verifications (“KYC”) have been performed. It can be increased further upon your request and after an internal risk analysis by bonsai, at its sole discretion.

To execute a payment, Payer and Payee open the Application. The Payee enters the exact amount that needs to be paid for the product or service and the Payer approves the payment that is shown on the tablet or smartphone of the Payee. She or he then confirms the payment with PIN or biometric security (“Authorization”). Approval of the payment requires the user to scan the QR code generated by the App or by selecting a contact in bonsai. Those contacts are stored in an encrypted way in the App to improve its speed and are only used to determine if your contact has enabled bonsai for payments between users. Contacts are private and never sold for commercial purposes. Both parties are expressly informed that only the exact amount of the product or service can be paid with the App. It is explicitly forbidden to pay or accept for payment any additional amount (no “Cash Withdrawal”).

Once the PIN or biometric security has been logged, the Payer can no longer revoke the payment and the Payee receives a payment confirmation.

The payment flows between bonsai and the Payer can be managed in two ways:

1. Checking the balance and settlement through the SDD-mandate

At the moment of Authorization, the available amount on the Payer Account is verified before payment confirmation in the Application.  The Payer Account is usually debited one to two days after the Authorization, without prejudice to bonsai’s right to debit the Payer Account at a later time. All authorized payments appear in the transaction history list. The Payer accepts that this appearance is a pre-notification of the settlement through the SEPA Direct Debit-mandate and that this pre-notification can be up to one day before collection.

In case of insufficient coverage, bonsai is entitled to, but under no obligation, to request up to three additional debit attempts. The Payer has the right to request a refund of a debited amount (or a refusal of a pre-notified collection) and this during a period of 8 weeks by contacting his/her bank.

2. Payment Initiation
When this service will be operational, the payment is at the moment of the Authorization initiated directly from the Payer Account and the Payer is redirected automatically to a strong customer authentication procedure between the Payer and his/her bank before the Payer is redirected to the bonsai App with a payment confirmation. These payments will not be collected through a SDD mandate and the provisions regarding the SDD mandate are not applicable.
The payment flow towards the Acceptor is managed by bonsai within 2 bank days. The Payer is responsible for every payment that has been initiated from his device.
The costs related to the Services are available on the website Frequently asked questions about bonsai.
K. Limitation of liability

You download and install the Application on your responsibility, meaning that bonsai cannot be held liable for damages to your smartphone or tablet. There are no guarantees regarding the Application in relation to its accessibility, accuracy or functionality. Bonsai will only be liable for damage resulting from shortcomings or technical failures if such failure has been caused by deliberate recklessness or gross negligence on its part.

In any case and without prejudice to any other limitations of liability as stated in these Terms and Conditions, bonsai can never be liable for any indirect damages or loss suffered by you or third parties.

L. Term and termination

By registration and downloading the Application, you enter into a contractual relationship with bonsai for an unlimited period of time. Of course, you can terminate the agreement at any time by deleting the Application from your smartphone or tablet. All payments that have been made prior to the deletion, will still be settled.

M. Property of the App

Bonsai owns the intellectual property rights to its trade name, the App and everything that goes with it. This means that you may only use our App for the services described in this document. By using the App, you donot receive property rights to our App, username, logo or any other things connected to our App. You may not market, sell, copy or counterfeit the App or any part of it.

N. Complaints

Do you have a complaint? Please let us know by sending us a message with an explanation of your complaint through the App. We will reply as soon as possible. Your complaints with regards to bonsai services can be send to support@paybonsai.com.  

O. Changes

Bonsai reserves its right to modify the Terms and Conditions. Upon modification, a notification will be sent to you, by email. All modifications will enter into force two months after that notification was sent. If you refuse to accept the modifications you can terminate the contract you and bonsai by deleting the Application within that two months period. Further use of the Application after the two months’ notification entails an acceptance of the modifications.

P. Belgian law

The use of the App is governed by Belgian law. If you disagree with these terms and conditions in case of a conflict, we will try and solve it amicably by sitting down together and talking it out. If we cannot find a solution then the court of the judicial district of Ghent will have the sole competence to resolve this conflict.

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