Actualidad Chile

Encouraging financial inclusion through an alternative payment system

Bill permitting the issuance of payment instruments by non-bank entities

The use of an electronic payment system, such as credit and debit cards, is widespread in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America. Many countries in the region make it necessary to hold a bank account and be able to prove appropriate capacity for debt repayment in order to use them.

This bill aims to encourage financial inclusion by allowing non-bank entities to issue payment instruments following prepayment by the holders, who can then pay using cards, internet accounts, mobile telephones or any other support.

This bill places companies issuing such payment instruments or operating such payment systems under the oversight of the country’s financial watchdog, Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras. It also stipulates that they will be subject to the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) and the legal provisions on money laundering.

These prepay systems do not require consumers to enter into a formal relationship with the issuing entity, thus keeping issuance and operation costs down.We consider that this makes such systems easier and more affordable for users and encourages people often excluded from the formal economy to engage with the financial system.