Published and draft legislation - Argentina

Changes to the National Payment System

Comunicación A-5982 from the BCRA

Argentina’s central bank, Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA) has introduced innovations into the National Payment System, collated in the BCRA’s Communication A-5982, 3rd June, 2016, with the aim of setting up a regulatory framework to facilitate the development of online banking.

The Communication requires financial institutions to offer existing current-account customers the option of being able to make immediate transfers of funds and/or pay for goods and services to third-party accounts on the Mobile Payment Platform (MPP).   

To carry out these transactions, customers can use their debit cards, which institutions are required to issue to them, or other payment systems such as apps on mobile devices that enable them to pay and charge, deposit money and make various types of transactions securely.

In line with the intention of the core regulations on Electronic Means of Payment (EMP), these measures optimise economic flow between institutions and help to control the movements in their accounts. The aim is also to reduce the use of cash, replacing it with electronic payments. There are also other advantages for users, such as the convenience of having cards and money together in one place, one's mobile phone, which nowadays nobody is without.

It should be noted that the transfers referred to will have to be itemised individually by type on the Mobile Payment Platform, since provision has been made for a maximum daily aggregate equivalent to one “minimum wage, living and mobile” (Salario Mínimo, Vital y Móvil*) in force at the end of the previous month, for this type of transactions. This threshold may be crossed if additional security measures are taken.

The Communication also stipulates that customers of financial institutions offering online banking services will be able to make immediate transfers of funds using security devices to validate their transactions (“dongles”), including generic devices that can validate transactions using access cards to the originators’ sight accounts. Institutions will have to provide these devices – free or at a cost – to their customers who will also be able to access them through other suppliers on the market. Customers should not have to pay to validate transactions using these devices

In addition, to comply with the BCRA’s provisions, an app will be developed for payment service suppliers and/or customers receiving funds, which will work as a “payment button”, making it possible to purchase from virtual sales points, by means of immediate transfers debiting their sight accounts. This application will be downloadable at no cost to customers who originate payments.

The clearing procedure in the accounts of recipients using the Mobile Payment Platform for payment for sales of goods and services will be free, up to a twelfth of the maximum annual sales established for customers who are micro-entrepreneurs in the “services” sector, per calendar month.

These modifications to the National System of Payment will make economic transactions faster, more secure and more transparent as they will be run over modern, efficient and reliable platforms in a secure framework. In turn, in its capacity as bastion of electronic payment systems, the MPP will contribute to bringing a large number of Argentinians into the formal financial system.

 

* The minimum wage, living and mobile (Salario Mínimo, Vital y Móvil) is set by the National Council for Employment, Productivity and the Minimum Wage for those who work the full legal working day. The minimum wage, living and mobile is currently ARS7500), approx. USD 500.