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June 1, 2023

On the web

May 26, 2023

On the web

May 19, 2023

On the wires

As Financial Institutions and Service Providers Prepare for FedNow, Matera Provides Glimpse of the Future of Instant Payments

Business Wire

Matera, maker of world-class instant payment and QR code technology for financial institutions, today released a special report detailing adoption of Brazil’s highly successful Pix system of instant payments. Pix by the Numbers provides key insights for U.S. financial institutions (FIs) as they prepare for the impending FedNow launch in July.

May 15, 2023

On the web

Financial Regulators Take Mercado Pago Back to Earth After its Tear Through Latin America

Insider Intelligence

"Mercado Libre, the Argentinian ecommerce empire, says it will invest billions of dollars into its Brazilian business in 2023. Much of that investment will go to Mercado Pago, its fintech business, which has been increasing its reach in financial services. In 2022, Mercado Libre’s fintech operations, which include Mercado Pago, accounted for 44.9% of the company’s net revenues of $10.54 billion. The background: Expansion throughout Latin America in banking and payments, which includes the rollout or growth of savings, investment, and consumer credit products, is core to the company’s strategy."

May 11, 2023

On the web

Brazil’s Central Bank Allows Firms to Participate in Digital Real CBDC Pilot


"Brazil’s central bank has officially launched its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot, allowing financial institutions to propose new projects for the pilot. Banco Central do Brasil announced that it would select 10 commercial banks meeting specific criteria for the CBDC pilot. The banking regulator disclosed that in the second stage, participating institutions would be increased to up to 20."

May 9, 2023

On the wires

May 4, 2023

On the web

April 26, 2023

On the wires

April 14, 2023

On the web

Central Bank’s Pix Gains Ground Against Debit Cards in Online Shopping

Valor International

"At a time when the payments industry is discussing changes to boost the use of debit cards for online shopping, the Central Bank’s instant-payment system Pix has reached an all-time high as more online stores accept it, while debit cards have lost ground, according to a new study by consultancy Gmattos. The study shows that 93.2% of Brazil’s largest online stores accept Pix."

March 31, 2023

On the web

Brazil Meal Payments Overhaul Delayed by Central Bank Standoff


"Fresh competition in Brazil's lucrative meal voucher market must wait, according to people familiar with discussions between the Finance Ministry and central bank, which disagree about how to regulate a new system in time for its scheduled launch in May. A law passed in September under former President Jair Bolsonaro allows workers to move their meal credit between providers and spend it at any participating restaurant. But under new President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, government efforts to regulate such a "portable" and "interoperable" system have stalled."

March 6, 2023

On the wires

Brazil Announces Pilot for Digital Currency Seeking to Leverage Financial Services

PR Newswire

"Brazil's central bank announced the start of a digital currency pilot project on Monday, aiming to replicate the success of its instant payment system Pix to popularize financial services in the country. According to Fabio Araujo, coordinator of the initiative at the bank, the public use of the digital currency should begin at the end of 2024, after the completion of the testing phase - which will include buying and selling of federal public bonds among individuals - and its subsequent evaluation."

March 3, 2023

On the wires

Brazil Central Bank Greenlights Meta's WhatsApp Merchant Payment System


"Brazil's central bank on Thursday approved Meta Platforms' payments launch for small and medium-sized business in Brazil via its messaging application WhatsApp, building on the app's existing local peer-to-peer payment system. The approval comes as Meta seeks to use the Brazilian market as a key test space for business messaging, an area that has assumed greater urgency as Meta's core advertising business has stalled."

December 23, 2022

On the web

Brazil Legalizes Crypto Payments, ‘Setting the Stage for Greater Bitcoin Adoption’


“The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro signed a bill making bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptoassets a legal and regulated payment option in the country – and this move, an expert says, “sets the stage for greater bitcoin adoption.” Bolsonaro signed a bill into law that established the country’s official and complete framework for the trading and use of “virtual currencies” in Brazil, per the federal government’s official journal. The bill, previously approved by Congress, was signed on Wednesday and published on Thursday.”

December 14, 2022

On the wires

Brazil Central Bank to Launch its Digital Currency in 2024


“Brazil’s central bank aims to launch its digital currency in 2024 after a closed pilot program next year with financial institutions, bank president Roberto Campos Neto said on Tuesday, adding that the project had received international attention. Speaking at an event hosted by the news website Poder 360, Campos Neto said the design of the central bank’s digital currency would encourage banks to tokenize their assets, with considerable efficiency gains.”

November 30, 2022

On the web

Brazil Approves Bill Regulating Use of Bitcoin as Payment

Bitcoin Magazine

“Brazilian lawmakers have approved a complete regulatory framework for the trading and use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Voted on Tuesday evening in Brasilia, the country’s capital, the new rules recognize bitcoin as a digital representation of value that can be used as a means of payment and as an investment asset in the South American nation. The bill applies broadly to a sector which it calls “virtual assets,” and now only needs the President’s signature before it becomes law. It does not make bitcoin or any cryptocurrency a legal tender in the country. The bill tasks the executive branch with selecting government bodies to oversee the market. The expectation is that the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) will be in charge when bitcoin is used as payment, while the country’s securities and exchange commission (CVM) will be the watchdog when it is used as an investment asset. Both the BCB and the CVM, along with the federal tax authority (RFB), helped lawmakers craft the overhaul legislation.”

November 16, 2022

On the web

Brazilian Central Bank Will Make Pix Open Source

Central Banking

“The Central Bank of Brazil will make the communications protocols behind its Pix payment system open source, governor Roberto Campos Neto said on November 11. Speaking to the CFA Society, Campos Neto said the central bank would make the protocols public this month, “so that all central banks that wish to can copy [them], for free”.”

October 26, 2022

On the web

Santander Bank Trials Blockchain Platform for Used Cars in Brazil


“Major global bank Santander continues exploring the benefits of blockchain technology, with a local branch implementing blockchain technolog for vehicle trading and car registration. Santander Brasil has launched thetesting of a blockchain-based tokenization platform for transferring ownership of used cars in Brazil, Cointelegraph Brasil reported on Oct. 19. The platform is designed to automate the process of transferring property registration by deploying smart contracts based on a delivery versus payment, a settlement method guaranteeing the ownership transfer after successful payment. Santander’s latest vehicle registration solution is developed in partnership with Parfin, major digital custody and Web3 infrastructure provider in Latin America. According to Parfin co-founder and chief technology officer Alex Buelau, the platform will be based on a proprietary blockchain network developed from the Ethereum blockchain. But in contrast to Ethereum, the system’s blockchain will be permissioned or private, meaning that it will not be publicly accessible.”

October 10, 2022

On the web

Digital Payment Methods Are Brazil’s Newest Export

Global Finance Magazine

“After taking their domestic market by storm, digital payment offerings are on track to become one of Brazil’s leading technology exports. The country’s originals, Pix and Ebanx, could soon hit markets as diverse as Canada, Colombia and Nigeria—with many others on the horizon.  Promoting mainly end-to-end person-to-person (P2P) and business-to-customer (B2C) solutions, digital payment methods have gained incredible popularity in Brazil since the pandemic. “Pix and Ebanx put Brazil at the forefront of payment methods and money movement,” says Ana Zucato, co-founder and CEO of Noh.  Two years after hitting the market in November 2020, central bank-created Pix has become the country’s primary vehicle of financial transactions. Currently, the tool has roughly 131.8 million single-user accounts, of which 9 million are businesses and 122 million are citizens (about 58% of the country’s population).”

September 27, 2022

On the web

Brazil’s Central Bank Caps Prepaid Card Interchange Fees; Fintech Stocks Fall


“Brazil’s central bank on Monday said it would set a 0.7% limit for interchange fees for prepaid cards, which are offered by fintechs in free digital accounts, in a setback for the booming sector in Latin America’s largest economy. The central bank had put the issue out for public consultation last year, but its proposal suggested a maximum rate of 0.5% for both debit and prepaid cards, which would be even more damaging to fintechs. Banks’ debit card interchange fees, which currently have to comply with a joint weighted average calculation of 0.5% and maximum value per transaction of 0.8%, will now be capped only by 0.5% per transaction. An interchange fee is a charge a merchant pays to the card-issuing bank every time a consumer swipes their card. The changes will take effect from April 2023, and will also standardize the settlement term for debit and prepaid card transactions.”

August 16, 2022

On the web

Brazil’s Central Bank Chief Predicts End of Credit Cards


“Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto on Friday said he believes credit cards will cease to exist soon due to the growth of the open finance system, through which clients authorize financial data sharing with different institutions. Open finance is a central bank project that has been implemented in phases since 2021…Speaking at an event about cryptocurrencies, Campos Neto projected that, through the system, users will control all aspects of their financial life in one “integrator” on their mobile, rather than having many apps from different banks. This will allow the development of cash management products for individuals and users to choose between making payments with the Pix instant payment system by debit or credit, he added. “This system eliminates the need to have a credit card. I think that credit cards will cease to exist at some point soon,” said Campos Neto, noting that banks have already started using Pix to offer credit.”

August 12, 2022

On the web

Brazil Banks Do Not Lose Money With Pix, Says Central Bank


“Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said on Thursday it is not true that banks lose money with the Pix instant payment system, launched by policymakers in late 2020. Speaking at an event hosted by Brazil’s banking lobby group Febraban, he acknowledged Pix affected revenues to some degree, since in the past banks charged people for transfer fees, while Pix is free. On the other hand, it offers new services, increases the volume of transactions and reduces cash costs for banks, said Campos Neto. The platform, which is owned by Brazil’s central bank, has been a huge success in the country and winner of international plaudits. It recently surpassed the volume of credit and debit card transactions in the country.”

August 8, 2022

On the web

Pix is Now Second Payment Type in e-Commerce (Brazil)

Valor International

“The use of Pix in Brazil’s major online stores has again reached an all-time high level, and now the instant-payment system created by the Central Bank shares with boleto, a banking bar-coded bill for cash payments, the second position among the most available payment methods in e-commerce, according to Gmattos’s most recent payment study. The analysis shows that credit cards remain at the top of the ranking, but there have been important changes, with fewer sellers willing to offer 12 interest-free installment plans. In July, 78% of the analyzed stores offered the option of payment via Pix, compared with 16.9% in early 2021, when the survey was first conducted. The percentage is the same when boletos are analyzed. Credit cards are accepted by 98.3% of retailers. The study considered 59 online stores, which account for 85% of e-commerce in the country.”

June 6, 2022

On the web

Brazilians Are Adopting Digital Payments Faster Than Anyone Else — What Lessons Can We Learn?

World Economic Forum

“Digital payments are driving a profound change in Brazil’s banking sector. Over the past 10 years, a silent revolution in Brazil has led to increased competition, more financial inclusion and lower banking fees…Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 16 million people have been enfranchised into the Brazilian financial system. In fact, the increased migration to online services during this period means 85% of Brazilians now have access to financial services.”

May 26, 2022

On the web

Crypto Is Now Accepted By One Of Brazil’s Leading Real Estate Companies


“Leading Brazilian real estate developer Gafisa has begun accepting crypto for property sales. According to Gafisa’s backrooms, bitcoin is ideal for real estate development businesses since it eliminates middlemen, a frequent practice in the property development market. The company’s decision to accept bitcoin was based on the technology’s ability to generate new prospects for innovation in the financial sector, according to a news release. The company announced that it accepts cryptocurrencies through the local exchange Foxbit…In addition to Bitcoin, Gafisa accepts various additional virtual currencies, including Cardano, Ethereum, $XRP and Solana. The company accepts payments in a total of 16 different cryptocurrencies.”

Stellar Joins Hands with Mercado Brazil to Develop CBDC for Central Bank of Brazil


“One of the largest crypto exchanges in Latin America, Mercado Bitcoin and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), have joined hands to explore use cases and develop a minimum viable product (MVP) for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the Central Bank of Brazil (Bacen). The announcement of the partnership was made with regards to one of the nine projects under the LIFT Challenge Real Digital. The challenge is being promoted by the Central Bank of Brazil.The exchange, whose parent company 2TM was recently acquired by Coinbase, is again creating headlines for its partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation to find and develop an MVP for Digital Real–Brazil’s CBDC. Brazil has been much ahead in the race for crypto adoption for quite some time now. Its central bank has partnered with over nine crypto projects, including Aave, Visa, ConsenSys, Microsoft, Santander Brasil Bank, and Itau Unibanco Bank, to meet its CBDC goals.”

May 19, 2022

On the web

Brazilians Are Adopting Digital Payments Faster Than Anyone Else — What Lessons Can We Learn?

World Economic Forum

“Digital payments are driving a profound change in Brazil’s banking sector. Over the past 10 years, a silent revolution in Brazil has led to increased competition, more financial inclusion and lower banking fees. The explosion of digital payments in Brazil has created an innovative financial ecosystem that works for ordinary people. This progress is the result of a combination of an overhaul in the payments regulatory framework, intensive use of technology, entrepreneurship and a focus on creating products that address the needs of Brazilian customers.”

April 27, 2022

On the web

Brazil’s Pix Instant Payments Accelerate Financial Inclusion as an “Instant Economy” Rapidly Rises in Latin America, Per EBANX Beyond Borders Data


“In a region where about half the population still doesn’t have a bank account, new payment types are unlocking the potential of the Latin American market for online merchants as the open banking movement matures there, according to a new Beyond Borders data analysis released by EBANX, the leading payments platform in Latin America that connects global companies to Latin America’s consumers.  Methods such as Pix instant payments and digital wallets have paved the way to a major shift to digital commerce for Latin Americans with an increase of close to 50 percent more e-commerce users last year compared to pre-pandemic years (68% at the end of 2021 vs. 45% prior to the pandemic). This means that more than 150 million people bought online for the first time during the last two years.”

April 20, 2022

On the web

Meta suffers setback with WhatsApp business payments in Brazil

Financial Times

“Meta’s long-awaited plan to allow users to send money to businesses via messaging app WhatsApp in Brazil has been hit by clashes with potential payments partners, marking the latest blow to the tech giant’s sprawling ecommerce ambitions. WhatsApp had aimed to launch a payments-to-merchant (p2m) function in Latin America’s most populous country late last year, according to several people familiar with the project, in what would have been a world-first for the encrypted messaging app.”

March 30, 2022

On the web

March 23, 2022

On the web

Brazil’s Pix ‘much Cheaper’ Than Card Payments, Paper by Central Bank Economists Shows


“Brazil’s Pix retail instant payment system is “much cheaper” than card payments for merchants, according to a paper published Wednesday by the umbrella body of the world’s central banks, highlighting its growth potential for businesses after its vertiginous rise among individuals. The paper, which was co-authored by economists at the Brazilian central bank for the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), says Pix costs an average of 0.22% of a transaction’s value for merchants, whereas debit cards cost slightly above 1% and credit cards reach 2.2% in Brazil.”

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