The Board of the BCRA has approved the 3.0 Transfers program. It will begin to operate on December 7 and aims at boosting digital payments and financial inclusion in Argentina. The system modernization seeks to expand the reach of instant transfers, allowing to create a digital ecosystem of open and universal payments suitable to overcome cash efficiently and safely.
“These measures are part of our management-oriented objectives aimed at easing payment methods for customers and shops as well. The decision to boost an interoperable system makes transfers cheaper and means of payment more flexible,” explained the President of the BCRA, Miguel Ángel Pesce.
Main features of the 3.0 Transfer System:
- Interoperability: A Standardized Payment Interface—with an open architecture—enables the interoperability of all accounts (bank accounts and electronic wallets).
- Instant crediting: shops will receive automatic and irrevocable transfers of funds.
- 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.
- Flexibility: cards, QR codes, National Identity Documents, payment requests, and biometrics (such as digital fingerprints) are accepted.
The BCRA will work together with national and provincial organizations to avoid charging fees on micro- and small-sized companies for transfers.
The regulation was broadly supported by the industry, which had taken part in the development process. Since December 7, 2020, the regulation on electronic fund transfers will be implemented on a phased basis. The program is meant to include person to person, person to company, and company to company transfers, among others; thus, creating competitive conditions among operators, such as COELSA, Interbanking, Link and Prisma.
The second stage will involve payments messaging confirmation and monitoring of guarantees, in accordance with standard ISO 20022.
“Achieving an inclusive and sustainable development is part of our agenda. This project represents a landmark event in regulations and promotes greater financial inclusion thanked to state-of-the-art technology. This new regulation ensures efficiency and security, expanding the use of financial services in Argentina,” said Pesce.
The measure adopted by the BCRA will allow Argentina to have a more modern, agile and advanced payment system aimed at expanding its use and promoting greater financial inclusion of neglected sectors.
Advantages for Customers and Shops
An Open and Universal Payment Ecosystem for Users
The payment ecosystem will be open for users to access bank and payment accounts, with integrated systems that make its use easier.
Users will be able to use any payment platform. The open ecosystem will allow them to make payments through the same QR code, either from sight accounts in financial institutions or from payment accounts of non-bank service providers.
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.
Lower Fees and Greater Supply of Services for Shops
The new system brings about substantial advantages for shops, for instance, instant transfers at lower costs, especially for small shops.
MSMEs that join the system will pay no fees during the first three months of use for the first ARS50,000 they bill in each month. Afterwards, they will be charged with fees of up to 8 per thousand. Thus, shops may offer their customers a wide range of means of payment and enjoy instant transfers.
October 29, 2020.