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Electronic money is almost replacing cash, driven by QR codes

It seems that when the new ones hit the streets $10,000 and $20,000 bills announced by the Central Bank (BCRA) for June, it will be a little late. People wouldn’t use them much anymore either. According to data from the monetary regulator, the public is rapidly switching to electronic money and abandoning cash.

“It is estimated that the amount operated in the aggregate set of Immediate Transfers (IT) In the last three months (annualized) it represented approximately 77% of GDP, 31.2 percentage points more than compared to the same month of the previous year,” says the Central in its latest Report on Banks as of November.

At the end of last year, the average value of An immediate transfer was approximately $39,700. That is, for a typical transaction in the local economy, a person should have had at least 18 bills of the highest denomination ($2000), one of $500 and another of $200.

Not all operations are the same. According to information from the BCRAtransfers between bank accounts, which are those with CBU, have an average amount of $77,600while when silver is sent from an account in a financial institution to an electronic wallet (from CBU to CVU) that number drops to $16,000.


When transferring money between wallets, which are the ones with CVU, the average amount is reduced to $13,000. On the other hand, when someone sends money from their CVU to a CBU, the amount increases to $31,500.

The use of transfers It is spreading very quickly due to the comfort they present for the user, in addition to the improvement of communication systems. Retail trade already widely accepts them, given the risk of losing sales.

The BCRA says that “the performance of those that are taken through Mobile Banking, which remain on a path of growing participation in the total.” “In this sense, as of November the number of operations that were carried out through this channel represented 54.1% of the total through CBU and grew 3.9 percentage points (19.7% in terms of amounts, with an increase of 2.8% year-on-year), the report details.

QR payments grow

On the other hand, transactions through Payments with Transfers (PCT) using QR codes interoperable accumulated an increase of around 328% in quantity and 326% in real values.

“These growth rates show the growing preference of users for this payment method. It is estimated that the amount traded in the last three months (annualized) represented approximately 0.7% of GDPhalf a point more than when compared to the same month of the previous year,” says the report.

The average transaction through that channel is $6,000, indicates the BCRA.

Economy in black

Vicente Lourenzo, tax advisor for small and medium-sized businesses, pointed out to Ambit that, “without a doubt, “Sales platforms and electronic wallets are experiencing important development.”

He explained that “people who previously paid with cards (debit or credit) now do so with platforms,” but warned that there is still a high proportion of irregular economy that will continue to be managed with cash. This could be the case of people whose employer pays them a part of their income undeclared (in black).

Lourenzo warned that There are many people with trades, such as bricklayers, plumbers or electricians, among others, who are doing home jobs “in the black” but they are accepting payments through electronic transfers. It is likely that, in the future, they may have some call from the Federal Public Revenue Administration (AFIP).

The organization led by Florencia Misrahi is beginning to look into these accounts. People believe that when these types of transactions are carried out, the taxpayer that is targeted by the treasury is the company that provides the payment channel, but that is not the case.

Salvador Femenia, from the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises (CAME) assures that “the use of transfers with virtual wallets has become widespread.” And an element that contributes in this sense is that “it is safer than cash and, with the low denomination of the bills, you cannot carry around with so much money in your pocket,” he explained.

Ariel Caplan, spokesperson for Free Consumerssaid that “it is noted that cash is cumbersome because the highest denomination bill is only 2 or so dollars.”

“Electronic money is easier, people have fewer and fewer resources, they use virtual wallets more. There is a general trend.” he pointed out to her.

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