Saturday , January 16 2021

Service stations, supermarkets and pharmacies will be able to operate as banks

Among the very diverse subjects pending of the Argentine economy stands out the raising of the degree of Banking of the population, which is among the lowest in the world, with 15% of the GDP, between a third and a half of which are recorded by the main economies of the region, and up to the sixth part of the one observed in highly developed nations.

One of the consequences of this phenomenon is not only the poor development of the capital market, but also the absence of a clear culture of saving in the institutionalized financial system, with the consequent restriction of the spread of credit to families and companies.

Hence it is not surprising that as part of the new policy followed by the monetary authority, the Central Bank board, headed by Guido Sandleris, has decided to enable bank operations through complementary agencies, generally called "bank correspondents", in trades and Service stations that are characterized by the wide influx of public. It is also in line with AFIP's policy of attack against informality and evasion.

"Bank correspondents may be established through agreements between banks and different networks of businesses or entities – such as, for example, service stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, state mail," he said. The decision of the BCRA was sanctioned through its Communication 6603.

"From this measure, people will have a complementary, simple and fast alternative to access the services provided by a bank, allowing them to open an account among others, make a fixed period, make payments and obtain loans in places in those who habitually carry out their daily activities, "sources of the Central Bank stand out.

It is estimated that this regulation will favor especially those who live far from bank branches and is part of a permanent objective of achieving greater financial inclusion. Thus, for example, the withdrawal of cash in supermarkets and other stores was already enabled, an operation that has been growing in recent months.

"International experiences – in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia or Peru – have shown that through this tool they are able to open new channels of access to the financial system. As a result, banking services are transformed into effectively inclusive, improving the living conditions of the less favored sectors of the population, as well as the development of small and medium enterprises, "observed the BCRA technicians to move forward with this initiative that has been maturing in recent years.

It is estimated that the opening of these access points to the banking system will also allow to improve the payment processes of the more than 14 million benefits that ANSES performs every month, in many cases in areas where access options are hampered Bank system due to lack of branches of paying agents.

Another of the great attributes of the extension of banking through the commercial system is that it will allow to minimize transaction costs and promote the formalization of the economy in populations with low population density where the coverage of a traditional banking branch does not arrive.

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