PIX was not intended to replace TED and DOC, says BC president

According to the president of the Central Bank (BC), Roberto de Oliveira Campos Neto, Pix, an instant payment system in force since November last year, was not designed to replace the Available Electronic Transfer (TED) and the Credit Order Document (DOC), modalities of financial transaction of transfer of values. Nine months after its implementation, he believes that the development of the tool is still in its infancy. By the end of this year, Pix will be able to be used for withdrawals from commercial establishments.

“When we launched Pix, the initial reaction was to say that it was going to replace TED and DOC. And I said: if it replaces TED and DOC it’s because we failed. That’s not the idea. The idea is to lower the cost of intermediation to such a point that increases the level of transactions and fosters new business models. So now we are seeing vendors that accept payment in Pix. We want to do a survey of the number of accounts that were opened because people needed to use Pix,” he said.

Campos Neto participated today (25) in the 11th Meeting of its Center for Advanced Studies on the Regulation of the National Financial System (Neasf), promoted by the Rio de Janeiro Law School of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV). At the meeting, he spoke about reforms being worked on by the BC.

pix in numbers

According to data that were presented, until last month, 96.3 million individuals had already registered 282.2 million Pix keys. The numbers between legal entities are more modest. Adhesion to the system was carried out by 6.4 million companies and organizations that registered 11.9 million keys.

The BC president claims that Pix has been used mainly for person-to-person transactions and that payments involving legal entities have only recently started to grow, which reveals the potential to increase capillarity. He believes that the instant payment system has come to make life easier, reduce costs, enable new business models and promote financial inclusion.

withdrawals

The implementation of withdrawal with Pix in commerce is expected to start in November this year. Campos Neto made the comparison with ATMs. “You have an operating cost, a production cost, an energy cost. You have to pay someone to go there to put the money, you have to pay for security. As it is a mandatory service, when it doesn’t work, you have to have it someone answering the phone on the other end to explain. It has a good value, it is a very well designed product. But the question is: can I do this same functionality by eliminating this transaction cost and turning this cost into a benefit for the user?”, questioned.

According to him, there are around 300 cities in Brazil that do not have an ATM or bank branch. Some of them don’t even have lotteries. “You have people there receiving cash, others taking transport to get money in the neighboring city. And today the shopkeeper wants to have the customer at the cashier’s end. So much so that there is a fight over the recharge of the card. In addition, there are the cash transportation costs, which can be reduced”. For the BC president, turning every store into an ATM is interesting for both sides.

digital transactions

Campos Neto also spoke about technological evolution and the possibility of new players starting to offer financial services. In March of this year, for example, WhatsApp obtained authorization from the Central Bank to act as a transaction initiator. The platform developed a payment service in partnership with Visa and Mastercard operators.

“At some point, the question won’t be which bank I go in to do a service. It’s going to be which channel I use to reach the service the bank offers. And most likely this channel won’t be the bank. with social networks,” he said.

According to him, the process raises some concerns, one of them related to the fact that the platforms tend to promote an integration between text, payments and content. “Imagine that I have the product announcement, the product sale, the product payment and, most likely, with modern algorithms, I have what the customer thought of that product in real time, and what he is saying about that product to another friend. It’s such a powerful amount of information that no financial institution is going to compete with what this properly organized data can offer in terms of product to the customer.”

This scenario brings the risk, according to him, of a market fragmentation, that is, that there are several settlement systems that do not communicate with each other. Pix should be used to prevent this from happening. In addition, the BC intends to unify the processes in a channel that will eventually culminate in the creation of digital currency. The topic is already being studied. He also advocated the creation of a data regulatory body.

“What is the regulation of the future, since the world of finance will interact with the world of data and much of the data will be produced in a world outside the world of finance? We think about the principle of reciprocity. So if any company wants to do a service that involves finance and involves data exchange and she wants to get data from a financial company’s customers, she has to open their data in the same way,” he said.

Campos Neto also differentiated cryptocurrencies from the digital currency that might be issued by a government agency. According to him, today there are around US$ 40 billion in cryptocurrencies in the hands of Brazilians and, in his view, these assets should be regulated as investments. “Contrary to what we expected, what we have seen is an increase in cryptocurrency trading for investment purposes and a very low growth as a means of payment,” he pointed out.