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Central Bank of Argentina issues new rules for digital wallets

Friday 16 September 2022 13:11 CET | News

The Central Bank of Argentina has issued a new set of rules for operators of digital wallets, adding protections like those offered by banks.

The set of rules is meant to heighten the level of protection users of popular digital wallets in the country receive. Customers of digital wallet providers will now have to be treated as financial users.

This means that these entities will have to name customer support representatives and solve common problems in less than ten days. Also, the digital wallet companies will have to adapt their terms of service and conditions to fulfill requirements of the central bank regarding financial contracts.

In the same way, the companies will have to provide an easy way for users to revoke services already accepted by these products, and to close their accounts with these companies in an easy way, a common issue cited by users.

Another new requirement has to do with accessibility, and how these companies need to change the structure of their services to accommodate users with visual or hearing impairments. This might include a redesign of apps that can mean elevated compliance costs.

Complying with the changes

The digital wallet companies will have a period of 180 days to make the required adjustments to comply with the new requirements, and the Central Bank of Argentina will have the option of establishing sanctions in cases of non-compliance.

The plans will be prepared following the model that is established in due time and must verify compliance with the regulations issued by the Central Bank of Argentina that are applicable according to the type of payment service provider in question.

The Central Bank of Argentina issues a new set of rules for operators of digital wallets, adding protections like those offered by banks.

While big players in the business like Mercado Pago and other large wallets already comply with these measures, this will likely drive compliance costs higher for small wallet providers, who will now have to deliver compliance reports signed by professionals of the Economic Science college.

Earlier in 2022, Central Bank of Argentina has also established new measures regulating virtual wallets, requesting them to link bank accounts and payment process. This allows users to directly transfer funds from any bank account to a recipient without the need to move funds first to a virtual wallet.

Digital wallets in Argentina

Argentina is continuously investing in initiatives to promote financial inclusion and further develop the payments financial sector. In 2020, the number of transactions for payment of services and taxes through digital wallets has doubled in the country.

The pandemic also boosted electronic payments. In this context, virtual wallets have become a highly demanded tool by users who seek to concentrate in one application the different bank accounts, cards, and to be able to transfer money in a more agile way.

Though the pace of adoption is favorable, financial institutions, private and public companies, and government entities need to work together to improve payment diversification, financial inclusion, and awareness. This includes building interoperability into payment systems for more convenience. Argentina, for example, launches the Transfers 3.0, to improve connectivity and versatility in payment methods, resulting in Argentina being the third highest-ranking volume of online purchases in Latin America.


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Keywords: banks, compliance, e-wallet, central bank, regulation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: BCRA
Countries: Argentina
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Payments & Commerce

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