Companies that act as Payment Institutions will have to request authorization to the Central Bank of Brazil, a measure that may slow down innovation in the country
Companies that issue ‚Bitcoin cards‘ will be regulated by the Central Bank, a measure that affects all Payment Institutions

The Central Bank of Brazil published Resolution BCB No. 24 on this fifth issue (22), which requires, among other things, that all „electronic money issuers“ be authorized by the Central Bank.

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In this way, fintechs and companies that issue prepaid cards that can be loaded with Reais or Bitcoins will be regulated by the Central Bank.

„The resolution brings the requirement that, as of March 2021, payment institutions issuing electronic money will be previously authorized by the Central Bank to operate,“ highlighted a statement from the Central Bank.

However, not all companies issuing „electronic money“ will be regulated until 2021.

According to the Central Bank’s publication, there will be a „staggered“ period for companies to request authorization.

„Art. 6-A. The payment institution must request authorization from the Central Bank of Brazil to begin providing payment services:

I – in the modality of payment transaction initiator, observing the provisions of Art. 11-A; and

II – as from March 1, 2021, in the electronic money issuer modality“. (NR)

„Art. 6-B. The payment institution that, on March 1, 2021, renders service in the modality of electronic money issuer and is not authorized by the Central Bank of Brazil must request authorization to operate:

I – if it reaches, by December 31, 2021, financial movements exceeding at least one of the following amounts:

a) R$500,000,000.00 (five hundred million reais) in payment transactions; or

b) R$50,000,000.00 (fifty million reais) in resources kept in prepaid payment account;

II – if financial movements in excess of at least one of the following amounts are achieved between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022:

a) R$300,000,000.00 (three hundred million reais) in payment transactions; or

b) R$30,000,000.00 (thirty million reais) in resources kept in a prepaid payment account; and

III – from January 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023, if it does not reach the financial movements established in clauses I and II of the caput“ stresses the Resolution.

The new Central Bank Resolution may directly affect cryptomoeda companies in Brazil that operate with the modality.

What was it like before?

Before the publication of the new Resolution, only institutions with transactions in excess of R$ 500 million in payment transactions needed Central Bank authorization; or R$ 50 million in funds held in a prepaid payment account.

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During the request process to the Central Bank the payment institutions must maintain at least a paid-in capital of R$ 1 million.

„Art. 30. The payment institution authorized to operate by the Central Bank of Brazil must pay in and maintain a minimum capital of:

I – R$2,000,000.00 (two million reais), for each one of the modalities foreseen in clauses I to III of art. 4; and

II – R$1,000,000.00 (one million reais), for the modality foreseen in item IV of art. 4″.

According to the Central Bank, the new rule aims to reduce the risks associated with the modality.

„In addition, an amendment was approved in Circular 3681, of 2013, to adjust the risk management structure and establish capital requirements to cover the risks associated with the provision of payment initiation services. With the change, the operational risk management structure should identify, monitor and control failures in the initiation of payment transactions, segregating the occurrences in: (i) unauthorized initiation, (ii) non-execution of initiation, (iii) incorrect execution, and (iv) delay in initiation“.

Payment Institution

The Central Bank Resolution is focused on establishing new rules for payment institutions targeting the opportunities of Pix and Open Bankng.

Thus, the Central Bank approved with the Resolution the constitution of a new payment institution modality, called payment transaction initiator.

This new payment institution has as its main activity the initiation of payment transactions without participating in the financial flow. This service consists of the initiation of a payment transaction ordered by the end user, in relation to a deposit or payment account, commanded by an institution that does not hold the account.