Argentina: Open Payments and Universal Access, Using a Functional Approach

Posted on Nov 27, 2020 by Pablo García Arabéhéty, Manager of Payment Systems, Central Bank of the Argentine Republic

Pablo Garcia Arabehety, BCRA

Instant payments are now fully available across any institution in Argentina, bank or fintech, thanks to a comprehensive overhaul of the Argentine Electronic Fund Transfers regulation published in October 2020.

The initiative aims to deliver 1500 million new retail transactions by 2022, more than doubling the actual volume of debit-like payments, and to reduce the estimated 90 percent market share of cash payments.

These regulatory enhancements have been anchored in what the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic is calling a ‘functional approach’ for payment regulation and market development. Focusing on function within the payments ecosystem, rather than on institutional form or technology, has enabled a leveled playing field across the diverse range of players that are converging into the same arena, from bigtechs to municipal banks.

This initiative, dubbed ‘Transferencias 3.0’ for the payments industry and ‘Pay with transfer’ for the general public, is the result of a broad industry consultation process, and hinges on three main elements:

  1. Open payments: interoperability, all use cases, flexible initiation, competition.
  2. Universal access: financial inclusion and substitution of cash payments.
  3. A functional approach to regulation: same rules, same functions, but different players.

Open Payments

Transferencias 3.0 builds upon the existing Electronic Fund Transfer infrastructures to make instant payments truly open: available across any institution, for virtually any use case, and in this way making them direct competitors of the card and bigtech payment ecosystems.

This expanded payment network was achieved by ... 

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Instant Payments, Retail Payments, Modernisation, Bigtechs, Regulations