Central Bank takes important action involving cards

Learn about the changes in card fees and understand what the Central Bank’s motivations were for making this decision.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Central Bank (BC) edited the resolution that determines the limits to the interference fee (TIC) and the settlement period for prepaid and debit card operations. It is worth noting that ICT is the remuneration paid to the bank or financial institution, for each transaction, through the acquirer of the establishment that rents machines to the merchant.

Thus, the rate will be limited to 0.7% for prepaid from 2023. As for debit transactions, the limitation will still be 0.5%.

card fee

First, the change in question seeks to encourage the use of cheaper payment instruments. In addition, it points to a forecast to reduce the costs of products to consumers. That is, in general, the change should improve the entire system.

The BC defined that the settlement period must be the same for all operations, that is, regardless of whether it is on a debit or prepaid card. Thus, the concern is that the limit on the card fee reduces the offer of products. As for the amounts that financial institutions may fail to collect, these can be passed on to the final consumer.

In this way, the entity found an intermediate solution between the desire of fintechs and financial institutions. But, even with this decision, Febrabran (Brazilian Federation of Banks) believes that the decision may have negative consequences, especially in the offer of products.

The impact of Pix

The BC decision was the result of a public consultation. This is because, according to Renato Aragon, associate director at Xsfera, a consultancy for the financial and payments market, the dissemination of Pix made it difficult to generate income through payments.

“Any fintech that wants to develop a financially sustainable project for the next five years needs to have as a definition the fact that the exchange of card fees is just one of the sources of revenue but no longer the only one”declared.

Check below the changes that the Central Bank’s decision brings:

  • Eliminates the exceptions provided for non-face-to-face transactions and with the use of corporate cards;
  • Standardizes the settlement period of transactions, aiming at better conditions for cash flow management for merchants;
  • Establishes a maximum ICT limit for prepaid card transactions.

Therefore, the last topic is a way of recognizing the importance of this means of payment for the financial inclusion of the lower income population. In addition to recognizing the digitization of payment activity, given the reduction in the use of cash.

Image: rafastockbr / Shutterstock.com

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