New Measures to Boost the Use of Interoperable QR Codes

Stores displaying a QR code to collect their credit card sales will accept payments with any interoperable e-wallet, regardless of the QR code brand. Acquirers and aggregators offering the service may not draw a distinction between stores in terms of commissions charged or terms set for crediting funds depending on the e-wallet brand ordering the payment. This regulation, that will be effective as from September 1, was established by the Board of the BCRA with the purpose of improving the experience of users and stores.

In the same sense, the BCRA determined that when acquirers or aggregators accept payments by transfer, they must offer stores a single QR code that includes all payment instruments.

Thus, the payment experience will be more user-friendly since, until now, the interoperability of QR codes was limited to payments by transfer (pagos con transferencia, PCTs). As of the implementation of the new measure, the user will be able to choose whether to pay using a PCT or credit card after reading a QR code, without the need to change e-wallets to make the payment.

For the sake of transparency, the new provision expands the scope of the registry of payment service providers available on the BCRA website. Now, registration is also required for:

• Acceptors: they register stores to allow them to collect PCTs within the framework of 3.0 Transfers.

• Acquirers: they register stores to allow them to collect debit, credit and/or prepaid card payments.

• Aggregators or sub-acquirers: they facilitate stores debit, credit and/or prepaid card, or other instrument collections. They receive the funds from the settlement of these instruments before paying stores.

Moreover, non-bank collection companies that offer payment services, tax collections, cash and other payment instrument services will be included in the payment service provider (proveedores de servicios de pago, PSP) registry.

Finally, the regulation now covers PSPs that make immediate transfers from accounts provided by other parties (proveedores de servicios de pago que cumplen la función de iniciación, PSIs). Therefore, they have to comply with the regulations that govern this payment instrument. One of the most important effects will be that PSIs will have to offer their customers the option to make CBU and CVU transfers, as financial institutions or other PSPs that offer payment accounts to their customers currently do.

May 18, 2023

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