Technology

Brazil's Central Bank makes the first settlement test of Pix, its instant payment system

The next test should involve transactions using the QR Code

Photo: Brazil's Central Bank
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  • Earlier this month, Pix’s regulation was put under discussion through a public consultation;
  • At Pix, the membership of financial institutions and payment companies with at least 500,000 active accounts will be mandatory.

This week, Brazil‘s Central Bank carried out the first transaction settlement test at Pix, its under development instant payment system. According to the Valor Econômico newspaper, five companies, including banks, cooperatives and payment companies participated in the test: Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal, BPP, Sicredi and Bancoob.

The test consisted of sending and receiving messages with information about the transactions between the mentioned institutions. The next test should involve transactions using the QR Code.

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Earlier this month, Pix’s regulation was put under discussion through a public consultation. According to Valor, these two steps (the test and the public consultation) rule out any rumors about a possible postponement in the project due to the coronavirus crisis. The expected date for the launch of Pix is November 16th this year.

At Pix, the membership of financial institutions (banks, cooperatives, etc.) and payment companies (fintechs and digital banks that offer payment accounts with features similar to those offered by banks, for example) with at least 500,000 active accounts will be mandatory.

As LABS showed in February, in parallel the card companies in the country are also developing their own instant payments system, to be launched earlier, in this first semester of 2020. The card networks Visa, Mastercard, Elo and American Express came together about a year ago to make the project happen, in addition to a series of card issuers an acquirers.

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In general, both systems will operate 24-7 and will use the QR Code as the main payment method. In other words, the reading of a code by a smartphone will be the standard process of the two systems, whether in the physical environment (to pay for a subway ticket, for example), or in the online environment, to pay for a product or service. To enable this operation, financial institutions and fintechs, in general, will have to offer instant payment among their application options.