Banks are joining forces in Brazil, Mexico and Peru to develop instant payments systems that work cheaply and effectively across a wide range of banking platforms
New models of inter-bank payments are on the rise across Latin America, with the aim of making money transfers between people and companies faster, easier, and always available. Banks and regulators have been working on these projects for months – even years. Now, with COVID-19, the projects have taken on fresh urgency. Brazil is expected to launch its platform, PIX, in November. Mexico’s CoDi went live in early 2019. And in Peru, banks started rolling out a private sector system for inter-person transfers, Plin, earlier this year. In all cases, the result for clients is faster, less-expensive service. PIX will reduce the cash in circulation – which alone costs about R$ 10 billion per year to manage – according to Febraban, Brazil’s banking industry association, which has come out in favor of PIX. What’s more, the initiative will increase financial inclusion in the country, stimulate competitiveness and improve efficiency in the payments market, Febraban says. With a digital payment platform based on QR codes and phone-based near-field communication (NFC) technology, Mexico is in a more advanced stage for instant payments than Brazil. The country has already launched its system, known as CoDi – short for Cobro Digital, or Digital Purchase.