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Banks will have branches in supermarkets, pharmacies and service points.

To facilitate people's access to the banking system, the monetary office approved a rule on Tuesday (Message A 6033), which establishes the conditions for ensuring "Safe, transparent and efficient way" banking operations, including opening an account, signing a fixed term, receiving loans, even buying dollars, through intermediary agencies called bank correspondents, which can be established through agreements between organizations and various chain stores or enterprises.

Measure “This is especially favorable to those who live far from bank branches and is part of the constant goal of achieving greater financial integration.”isolated from the BCRA, which has already allowed withdrawing cash in supermarkets and other businesses that have been growing in recent months.

Sources of the monetary authority argued that the new provision was “flexible enough” that financial companies could enter into agreements that they wanted with stores if they met minimum safety standards, which would be “pure” responsibility and exclusively from banks. ”

Among such “flexibilities” allowed by the standard, for example, enterprises may use their employees to serve banking services, while business may enter into agreements with several organizations, and banks, in turn, may have more than one entity. agent or chain. Additional agencies charge for each transaction that will be determined at the bank.

In addition to the mentioned transactions, transfers can be made; pay for services, taxes and loans; and extract and invest money. In the latter case and in the first stage, the amount cannot exceed the equivalent of a vital and moving minimum wage, today at the level of $ 10,700 in order to have lower security risks or money laundering.

Systems such as Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru used this system a year ago, and showed that new channels of access to the financial system could be opened through these bank correspondents. In turn, correspondents minimize transaction costs, maximize financial intermediation and contribute to the formalization of the economy.

Although Argentina is currently located in different countries of the region in terms of the number of bank branches and ATMs, there is a certain deficit in the financial system from the point of view of access points (PDA) (determined by the sum of branches, ATMs and banking correspondents). For every 10,000 inhabitants, our country has only 8 PDAs (They also include self-service terminals and mobile branches) when, for example, in Colombia they reach 33, in Brazil, 24 and in Mexico 12.

On the other hand, the BCRA emphasized that the opening of new access points to the financial system will also improve the payment processes of the more than 14 million benefits that ANSES performs every month, in many cases in areas where access to the banking system is difficult due to the lack of branches . In addition, of course, there will also be competition between different banks on the part of banks, which will help improve efficiency and reduce costs faced by customers.

It is from the BCRA assessment that tests of banks at agencies will begin at the beginning of next year, and it is possible that there is “a lot of trial and error”, which helps to determine what should be offered to each bank and what should not. On the other hand, it is necessary to analyze the effect on employment in the banking sector, although they believe from the BCRA that, based on data from neighboring countries, this will not be affected, but, on the contrary, it will increase in line with the financial system.

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