The Central clarified that “the measure does not reach the investment accounts that enable wallets and that allow savers to obtain a return on deposited funds. These investment accounts are kept in the same conditions ”.
Currently, the funds of the transactional accounts managed by virtual wallets are, by arrangement of the BCRA, deposited at all times in demand accounts in pesos at financial institutions in the country.
With this new rule, as of January 1, 2022, these funds must also remain immobilized in the BCRA, at the disposal of their holders. Therefore, they will no longer be able to generate interest.
Digital wallets have two ways of capturing savings from their clients: one is the investment account, where the funds they collect are invested and distributed among their savers part of the profitability; the other is with transactional accounts, where savers load their wallets to use it as a means of payment without waiting for retribution.
“These funds have to be deposited in the banks, for the safety of the savers. Profitability cannot be obtained on these funds because it would be comparable to a financial intermediation and, due to this nature, they could be the subject of legal dispute, “said a BCRA source. He added that the measure “puts the funds of savers safe from any contingency and reinforces the role as a secure and transparent means of payment.
Sources in the fintech sector emphatically rejected the measure of the monetary authority. “It is a hard blow especially because until now the BCRA regulation established that Payment Service Providers (PSP) had to deposit all the money in a bank checking account. Thus, each wallet could establish a commercial agreement with each entity. For example, for the balance that your users generate, they pay you a certain percentage. And that amount is what allows the cost of other services to be subsidized so that they are not transferred to the user, “a source from the fintech ecosystem who asked not to be identified, commented to this medium.