Brazil Launches Nationwide Instant Payments System

Brazil’s central reserve bank, the Banco Central de Brazil, has launched a nationwide instant payments system it said was planned to go live in November 2020.

The system, called Pix, is to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via mobile devices, online banking or cash machines.

The bank said consumers would be able to use it to make payments or donations or to send money to other individuals, while companies could use it to send funds to other businesses.

During a demonstration, the bank showed the platform being used to pay for everyday purchases, utility bills and taxes and to transfer funds between accounts.

QR codes

Users can make a payment by scanning a QR coade or using their mobile phone number or email address as a form of identification.

Such “keys”, as the bank calls them, enable instant payments that are credited immediately.

“Pix, set in an open, competitive and secure environment, can support the process of making digital and electronic payments, increase efficiency in the retail payments market and facilitate the development of solutions focused on the customer experience,” the bank said.

The system, part of a broader overhaul of the country’s financial system, is intended to supplement existing transfer methods such as weekday same-day and next-day transfers and cheques.

Instant payments

Bank president Roberto Campos Neto called Pix “one of the most important initiatives of the year” and said more innovations were planned throughout 2020.

“Our goal is to provide a public service, a platform to enable private sector actors to compete and provide high-quality services at a competitive cost for end users,” Neto said.

The central bank is providing the infrastructure for the system, and is encouraging private-sector firms such as banks and fintech companies to offer instant payment services based on its technology.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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