More information is beginning to emerge about Brazil’s recent launch of their national real-time payments platform called PIX. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the salient points:
- PIX is a real-time settlement system available 24X7X365
- It is run by Banco Central do Brasil (BCB)
- All banks will offer the service and it is mandated to be offered by the largest financial institutions
- While it officially launched on November 16, it has been in pilot mode and has already processed 1.9 million transactions and over BRL 780 million (USD 144 million) in value
- It utilizes ISO 20200
- There are no transaction limits
- It also has launched with an alias directory with 71 million Pix aliases registered already
A Reuter’s article has this to say:
Brazil’s central bank on Monday launched an instant payments platform that will speed up and simplify transactions, as well as foster financial sector competition and lure in new players such as big techs Facebook Inc and Google.
The move by Brazil’s central bank aims to increase competition in a highly concentrated banking system, with its top-five lenders, such as Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA, holding roughly 80% of total assets and deposits.
As the central bank sets low prices for money transfers and payments via Pix, the regulator believes competition will increase. Itau’s card processor, Rede, said on Monday it will not charge merchants using Pix for the first six months.
Some 750 companies have signed up to Pix to accept and offer instant payments. Uber Technologies Inc said it started to accept Pix payments, hoping to add unbanked clients. In the future, Pix will add new functionalities, such as cash-back and preprogrammed payments, which are currently offered mainly through credit cards.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group