On June 10, in a press release, The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) published data that reveals how Argentines prefer the use of transfers before the use of credit or debit cards.
Electronic payment methods have experienced exponential growth in recent years. According to the latest data available on the BCRA website, In March, more than 198 million payments were made by transfer, surpassing debit card transactions for the first time in history, which totaled 193 million operations.
This trend confirms the preference of Argentines for electronic means of payment, a trend that has been consolidated since 2021. According to the Monthly Report on Retail Payments of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic, transfer payments increased by 19% in one month, more than 153% compared to March 2022and they multiplied by 5 in the last 2 years.
When analyzing in detail the transfer payments made in March, it is observed that 84.3% of these operations corresponded to intra PSPCP payments (Payment service providers that offer payment accounts), while the remaining 15.7% were interoperable payments.
In terms of amounts, the trend is similar, since operations were registered for a total of 787.1 billion pesos, of which 78% was intra PSPCP and the remaining 22% in interoperable payments.
Boost from the Central Bank: Key measures to consolidate transfer payments in Argentina
The Argentine financial system has carried out a process of digital transformation that has contributed to driving this trend, but the role of the BCRA through various measures has also been key to consolidating the adoption of transfer payments among users of financial services.
The press release indicates that:Although the digital transformation process that the financial system has been carrying out has contributed to driving this trend, the role played by the BCRA through different measures taken by the Board of Directors was key to consolidating the adoption of transfer payments among users. financial services”.
One of the main measures that has promoted these operations is the launch of Transferencias 3.0 at the end of 2020. This system incorporated the interoperability of QR codeswhich allows users to make transfer payments using any QR code, with just a phone and any virtual wallet or banking application that offers this service.
This new open and universal ecosystem has stimulated greater competition among the players in the system, which has resulted in better conditions for users and businesses.
The main objective has been to promote the formation of an open and universal digital payments ecosystem, as well as to achieve a greater inclusion of those sectors that still do not use financial services, one of the key focuses of the BCRA.
In addition to promoting greater bank use, transfer payments are more accessible, efficient and secure. For businesses, it implies lower costs, since these payments have a price range between 6 and 8 per thousand (plus VAT), in addition to reduced financial costs due to immediacy. It also allows expand collection options and reduce the use of cashwhat translates into lower costs and greater security.
The exponential growth of electronic payments drives the preference for bank transfers in Argentina
In line with the objective of continuing to develop electronic payment methods, the BCRA launched a new measure on May 18. As of September 1, merchants that display a QR code to charge with credit cards must accept payments with any interoperable digital wallet, regardless of the brand of the QRwhich seeks to make the payment experience friendlier for people.
Another measure that has also contributed to promoting electronic payments was the implementation of new technical requirements for Payment Service Providers (PSP) and financial entities that offer digital wallet services.
These requirements, implemented in February 2022, aim to reinforce security measures in operations with digital wallets and mitigate fraud. A technical security process was added to complement and reinforce the customer authentication and payment authorization measures.
The BCRA indicates that: “Of the 167.5 million operations that in March added payments with intra PSPCP transfers (refers to operations carried out between clients of the same PSPCP with funds available in payment accounts), 82.1% (137.5 million transactions) were initiated on the web, which implies an increase of 203% in one year. The remaining 17.9%, for their part, was initiated with QR from the same PSPCP, which represents 29.9 million transactions.”.
These data also show that access to the banking platform for transfers is done through the website of the payment service provider that offers payment accounts.
This shows that even access to these services depends on the use of a computer and it is not, for the most part, the use of these types of services through a smartphone.
An important fact to highlight from these data provided by the BCRA is that these bank transfers have been started at point of sale terminals. In this regard, the BCRA informs that: “of the 30.3 million operations that in March included interoperable transfer payments (representing 15.7% of all transfer payments), 40.2% were initiated at a point of sale terminal ( POS) with debit card credentials, which concentrated 12.2 million operations. Although this means of payment represents the majority of payments with interoperable transfers, in quantities it implies a growth of just 17.5% in one year”.
In the same way, they indicate that only he: “15.9% of interoperable transfer payments originated with a payment button through web operations (4.8 million payments); and 12.7% were started with a random token or key (3.9 million operations).
The data clearly shows the preference of transactions through transfers over the use of debit or credit cards, both in businesses and in associated payments for services.
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