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.

Campos Neto said central bankers from other countries have asked about how Pix was implemented, and quoted them as saying their domestic banks would never collaborate.

“In Brazil, they collaborated and that’s why we have Pix. Banks understood that, in the end, it’s a win-win model.”

President Jair Bolsonaro recently criticized Febraban’s support for manifestos defending democratic institutions saying banks were dissatisfied with Pix.

Speaking about the digital currency central bank (CBDC) model being developed in Brazil, Campos Neto said he would like to see it up and running in 2024.

According to the central bank’s chief, the Brazilian CBDC will promote new business and will allow for an interaction between physical and digital money, leading banks to start looking at balance sheets in the form of tokens.

“Our central bank digital currency is nothing more than a tokenized deposit,” he said.

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