During the meeting, Pesce highlighted the advantages of the measure. “On Thursday of last week, the BCRA issued a resolution authorizing financial entities to open accounts for foreign tourists visiting our country; the intention is that foreign tourists do not require the use of cash“, He affirmed, and added:” the idea is that, through their cell phone or a card, they can access electronic means of payment “. Pesce also stressed the role of the chambers and private initiative in the implementation of these accounts.
For his part, Lammens highlighted the importance of the standard approved by the BCRA. “The measure that the Central Bank is implementing is very important. We have an enormous expectation with what can happen with receptive tourism, the country has an extraordinary possibility in this matter; We believe that between November and December we can have 200,000 tourists arriving in Argentina “, he said, and concluded:” We hope that all banks can accompany us with this measure. ”
On behalf of the banks, the Association of Banks of Argentina (ABA), the Association of Argentine Banks (ADEBA), the Association of Specialized Banks (ABE), and the Association of Public and Private Banks of the Argentine Republic (ABAPPRA). The tourism sector was attended by the Argentine Chamber of Tourism (CAT), the Gastronomic Hotel Business Federation of the Argentine Republic (FEHGRA), the Association of Tourism Hotels of the Argentine Republic (AHT), the Argentine Association of Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers , Congresses, Events and Convention Bureaus (AOCA), and the Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Confectioneries and Cafes (AHRCC). Also present were the vice president of the BCRA, Sergio Woyecheszen, and the general manager, Agustín Torcassi.
Savings bank for tourists
On October 28, the BCRA simplified the mechanisms for foreign tourists visiting Argentina to open a bimonetary savings bank and thus access financial services and electronic means of payment, with the inherent benefits of transparency and security.
These are temporary accounts —they have an automatic closure— that allow tourists to access the extensive electronic payment system that our country has, for example with the interoperable QR, thus avoiding the handling of cash.
In addition, this account will allow tourists to access the discounts of a local card and obtain a VAT refund. Another advantage is the greater formalization.
These accounts can be used for purchases in stores in pesos throughout the country, both by debit card and through digital banking applications, and to make cash withdrawals in national currency. They will also have enabled the possibility of carrying out financial operations for currency exchange.
The measure, taken by the BCRA Board of Directors, is intended for foreign tourists who have a bank account in their country of origin – which will be the only one authorized to transfer foreign currency to the local account – and complies with the regulations dictated by the entity and the recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), in order to prevent them from being used in relation to money laundering.