Citing the increase in crime, Brazilian lawmakers are considering the possible shutdown of the Pix instant payment system, ZDNet reported.
São Paulo’s Legislative Assembly is considering a bill that, if passed, would prohibit banks and payment institutions from processing payments through Pix until the Central Bank of Brazil puts measures in place to ensuring the safety of customers, according to the report.
Brazil’s central bank launched Pix on November 16, 2020 to offer instant money transfers between customers, businesses and government entities, according to the Central Bank of Brazil website.
Pix processes more than a billion transactions per month for the platform’s more than 112 million users.
Read more: Bexs Banco-Thunes collaboration brings real-time payments to Brazil
If Pix’s suspension were to go ahead, the impact it would have on a partnership announced this month is unclear. As part of this collaborative effort, global payments company Thunes has partnered with Brazil-based international digital payments platform Bexs Banco to enable real-time payments in Brazil. Along with this deal, Pix users would benefit from instant payments and interoperability between Brazilian banks and FinTechs.
The central bank touts the Pix system as offering greater convenience, lower financial costs, and enhanced security, in addition to the ease of real-time payments.
However, with that convenience comes a higher incidence of crimes, like people being forced to pay ransoms to criminals, according to ZDNet.
The potential suspension of digital payments in Brazil comes at a time when Latin America is experiencing 80 times the demand for digital payment methods.
See more : Increase in debit usage drives ’80-fold’ acceleration in digital payments in Latin America
Driven by the pandemic, more and more businesses in Latin America have implemented e-commerce payment options such as paid links, mobile apps, social media transfers, as well as digital wallets and QR codes.
The transaction value of digital commerce is expected to increase by 73% by 2025 for the region, with higher growth rates in some economies.