South America Surveillance: Interchange Fee Limits in Chile; Peru Exodus of US $ 20 billion retirement savings
The Chilean Congress has approved a bill setting limits on the interchange fees of merchants in the card payment system.
The measure will support innovation and competition, Finance Minister Rodrigo Cerda said in a statement.
BNamericas has already been informed that such a decision would help facilitate market access for new players, such as fintechs.
Interchange fees are fees paid by a payment acquirer to a card issuer (credit, debit or prepaid) during a payment.
The limits of the interchange fees will be set, once every three years, by a four-member committee made up of officials from the central bank, the CMF financial services commission, the FNE antitrust authority and the Ministry of Finance. . Limits can be reviewed before the three-year deadline expires if changes in the payments market warrant, the finance ministry said.
Chile is in the process of overhauling the structure of the local acquisition market, dominated for years by the banking actor Transbank. Under this program, banks authorize Transbank to use their payment acquisition licenses and negotiate with merchants on their behalf. In contrast, in the adopted four-part model, the roles of acquirer, issuer, merchant and cardholder are separated.
A fintech bill is also being prepared by the Ministry of Finance.
The country’s prepaid card market has grown in recent years, led by products launched by incumbent financial institutions Bci, Santander and Credicorp.
Head of the Association of Private Pension Fund Managers in Peru, Giovanna PrialÃ©, described the impact of the five pension savings levy measures approved in 2020-2021, citing data from the central bank and The surveillance.
Two executive orders and three laws have been introduced since April 2020, with supporters saying people need funds to help weather the economic downturn generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the future pensions of many savers were already going to be insufficient, those who are against early withdrawals argue that these measures further reduce the amount of pensions.
Quoting the central bank, PrialÃ© said in a tweet that the five initiatives could lead to the exit of more than 73 billion soles ($ 19.4 billion) from the system. Referring to estimates from the SBS watchdog, PrialÃ© said 5.4 million could be left penniless in their pots.
Another levy bill was introduced in May.
Experts say Peru needs a broader and comprehensive pension overhaul, combined with measures to tackle high levels of work informality in the country, to strengthen pension coverage and adequacy.