Payment By Transfer: How to Get Started

BCRA Transferencias 3.0

Payment By Transfer,,an innovative initiative launched by the BCRA, will be operative from next Monday. This tool will boost digital payments and further financial inclusion in Argentina, expanding the reach of instant transfers, which will in turn help to build an open and universal payment digital ecosystem.

Starting on Monday, users will be able to pay by reading any QR code with any electronic wallet or bank app on their phones. Payment By Transfer is like paying in cash, but using the phone. For people, transactions are simple, safe, swift and free of charge. For merchants, transactions are instant and irrevocable, and cost less.

The system will be gradually implemented. In the first stage, it will be available at 50,000 shops and 3 chains, the remaining shops across the country being included over time.

Below are the features of Payment By Transfer, created by the 3.0 Transfers program:

- Interoperability: A Standardized Payment Interface—with an open architecture—enables the interoperability of all accounts (bank accounts and electronic wallets).

As it is an open and interoperable system, users will be able to operate from any payment platform. It will allow them to make payments through the same QR code, either from sight accounts in financial institutions or from payment accounts of fintechs (non-bank payment service providers).

The whole ecosystem benefits from the open system with a standard which all agents can join, taking advantage of the network economy and the scale of digital payments.

- Instant crediting: Shops will receive transfers of funds instantly. Also, payments are irrevocable.

Under the new system, funds are transferred instantly on a 24/7 basis when they involve interbank and intrabank transactions as well as those made through different payment systems. All transfers between accounts from different banks, and accounts within the same bank will be immediately processed, both for natural and legal persons.

- Low cost: Hidden costs for shops for cash handling (transport, storage and security) are removed.

- Competitiveness: Contactless services become more competitive for retailers. Shops will be charged with fees of up to 8 per thousand.

Micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that join the system will pay no fees during the first three months of use for the first 50,000 pesos they bill in each month. They can, thus, offer more methods of payment to their customers.

- Flexibility: Cards, QR codes, National Identity Documents, payment requests, and biometrics (such as digital fingerprints) are accepted.

The BCRA’s initiative will lead Argentina to efficiently and safely replace cash with a modern, swift and state-of-the-art payment system.

On another note, 3.0 Transfers contribute to a major objective of the BCRA: to achieve greater inclusion in Argentina, both in terms of usage, and the incorporation of sectors that use no financial services at all.

This initiative is the result of an intensive study and analysis carried out by expert teams at the BCRA and players of the payment system.

3.0 Transfers will feature more characteristics in the coming stages, for example, payments messaging confirmation and monitoring of guarantees, in accordance with standard ISO 20022. The program will unfold until November 29, 2021, when it will be fully implemented.

In addition, the BCRA will work together with national and provincial bodies to avoid withholdings on micro- and small-sized companies for transfers.

December 5, 2020.

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