Brazil accelerates implementation of instant payments

The model is hoped to be introduced in 2020; instant payments using QR codes are expected to simplify transactions for SMEs.

The Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) is planning to introduce instant payments in the country a year earlier than planned.

According to BCB president Roberto Campos Neto, the model hoped to be up and running by 2020.

The Central Bank had defined instant payment guidelines for last year. The initial schedule would see the model being introduced next year and be fully functioning by 2021.

The idea is to create a real-time payments ecosystem whereby payments, and transfers between bank accounts, clear and reach their destination instantaneously.

Instant payments made using QR Codes will be introduced as part of the upcoming changes. This is hoped to benefit millions of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs across Brazil, as it will eliminate the need for card terminals.

As smartphone adoption rises in Brazil along with more sophisticated payment services and the number of local fintech ventures increase, customers are demanding to pay for and receive their products and services fast.

Currently, Brazilians cannot make financial transactions outside banking hours and make real-time payments on weekends, for example. Under the new model, transactions will have to be fulfilled in up to 20 seconds.

Instant payments have been in place for some time in other markets such as Australia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK, where the model was first launched in 2008 and became the country's major pillars of the infrastructure for moving money.