Any digital wallet can be used to pay in all QRs in Argentina



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November 21, 2021

The Monday, November 29, it will begin to function fully in Argentina the Transfer 3.0 system, a digital payment mechanism that will make interoperable QR code and that will allow you to use any digital wallet to pay at all shops that they accept this means of payment, regardless of the company that provides the code.

At the same time, it will enable businesses to receive money instantly, irrevocably and with the lowest commission in the market, which will help simplify operations and compete against cash that, despite the advancement of virtual payment mechanisms, it is still the form of payment used in about 8 out of 10 transactions.

It will be the end point of a system in which, for almost two years, the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA), public and private banks, fintech companies, credit and debit card companies and clearing houses and payment administrators (Coelsa, Fiserv, Red Link and Prisma).

“It is a very innovative and disruptive process. There are not many countries that have generated this interoperability. We have collaborated well and we are working together to make this a success ”, Leonardo Rubinstein, CEO of Ank, told Télam, the fintech that Banco Itaú launched just over a year ago.

The objective of all actors is the same: to facilitate and simplify digital payments, enlarge the market for the use of electronic money with more competition and, at the same time, reduce the use of cash in order to expand financial inclusion and formalize a large sector of the economy.

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“It is the first time that such a clear path has been charted with different digital payment schemes. There were several antecedents but it was never done with such strength, “said the director of the BCRA and president of the entity’s Operations and Means of Payment commission, Diego Bastourre.

The development of the system also included a “process of investment operations and multiple developments for the entire ecosystem that puts us at the forefront in terms of technological innovation”, added Bastourre, who pondered the “great potential and high security efficiency” that it will have. in its operation.

It must be understood that, in order to achieve the interoperability of the QR codes, cooperation was necessary from both the payment infrastructure and the regulations, the product developments of each of the companies interested in reading the QR codes and the commercial decisions of each fintech or bank that participates.

For this reason, the first tests of the system began in December of last year, with the opening of codes by key companies of the system in large stores and chains with a presence throughout the country, with the idea of ​​ensuring correct operation and avoiding a bad user experience.

Mercado Pago, one of the main companies in the sector with more than 1.5 million businesses adhering to QR payments in Argentina, has since made progress in the incorporation of more than 5,200 stores from 18 chains such as Burger King, Farmacity and La Anónima , among others, in which it is now possible to pay with the BNA + and DNI Account applications of the Nación and Provincia banks; Yacaré, Reba and ANK; and MODO, the application developed by more than 30 banks to streamline payments and transfers.

“It is an extremely complex process but much of the work is well advanced,” Agustín Onagoity, director of Mercado Pago, told Télam, a company that already has about 25% of its interoperable QR codes, although with the technological base resolved, he said, “It can be scaled quickly.”

“Since the beginning of this week, the Coelsa clearing was started to speed up the compensation of all parties. Once these tests have been passed, we could advance in the lighting of more stores and reach 100% on November 29, “said Onagoity.

Currently, more than 90% of adults in Argentina have a bank account in their name, but most withdraw the money they receive in cash and make their payments through that means.

Merchants also choose to charge in this way since not only can they dispose of the money instantly – unlike debit card accreditation, which is 24 hours a day – but they can also evade tax charges.

However, the advantage of payments with transfers is that they will not cost users, so it will be safer than going with cash on top, and, for merchants, they will receive the money instantly in their account and with a commission of just 0.8%, the lowest in the market.

“For the user this means greater accessibility. The question of whether or not the merchant he chooses usually accepts the digital wallet that he uses disappears. There is no doubt that this will encourage the use of this means of payment, ”said Sergio Strologo, director of Global Business Solutions for Latin America at Fiserv.

Once the technological stage is over, the actors consulted agree, the next great challenge will be communication.

“We have to ensure that both users and businesses are aware of this possibility. That they can understand that their QR code can be read with any wallet. Mass communication on the concept of interoperability is still lacking, ”Rubinstein said.

Even so, he was confident with the future possibilities: “We see it with the experience of our users. The growth in the use of QR was exponential and we are convinced that it is a habit that will continue to grow very strongly ”.

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