January 23, 2020. Under communication A6876, the Board of the BCRA established the relaunch of the Universal Free Account, with the aim of favoring financial inclusion for the most vulnerable sectors while promoting greater banking access and facilitating access to means of payment, in line with the actions undertaken under the National Plan called “Argentina against Hunger”.
People with no bank account can access this new Universal Free Account at the bank of their choice. All institutions must offer this product. The only requirement to open the account will be the submission of their ID document. The Universal Free Account is a savings bank account in pesos. Its opening, maintenance, fund transfers and balance inquiries are free of charge. Upon opening a Universal Free Account, users will have free access to a debit card and mobile banking passwords.
No ATM withdrawal fees apply to money withdrawn from the bank where the account was opened. Moreover, up to 8 of such transactions can be made monthly and free of charge in other bank ATMs throughout the country, whether belonging to the same network or not.
As from February 1, 2020, banks must open the Universal Free Account to all those requesting it.
Under the National Plan “Argentina against Hunger”, people who provide services or sell goods through the Food Card “Tarjeta Alimentar” may request the Universal Free Account.
This measure of the BCRA therefore restores the Universal Free Account, implemented for the first time in September 2010 (Communication A 5127), and discontinued in 2016.
With this relaunch, the BCRA seeks to boost financial inclusion, moving towards full bankarization throughout the country.