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Savings accounts may be opened online

The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) approved today a rule with a view to continue advocating bankarization and financial inclusion policy. It provides that savings accounts may be opened through electronic means, thus releasing clients from approaching a bank’s branch.

Thus, banks may implement procedures to attract new clients by offering new clients to use mobile phone or computer applications so that they may open savings accounts on a remote basis. Identity shall be validated through several mechanisms such as face or National Identity Document (DNI) recognition systems, or teleconferences, just to mention a few.

This regulation has derived benefit from the experience of countries like Mexico, Spain, Brazil or Paraguay, where the opening of bank accounts through electronic devices such as mobile phones has boosted the level of bankarization, making the procedures easy and reducing costs.

Along this year, the BCRA provided that all savings accounts—and the relevant debit cards—will be free of charge for natural persons. Likewise, the transfers of money through electronic means—regardless their amount—, and the closing of a bank account or return of a credit card may be carried out through electronic means. This will contribute to promote competitiveness in the banking sector as clients may be free to migrate among financial institutions.

The provisions contained in today’s resolution will contribute towards the development of a more dynamic, transparent and competitive financial system that may boost financial inclusion in such sectors of the population that has been excluded so far. The appropriate use of new technologies, especially bearing in mind the high level of mobile phones in Argentina, will speed up the bankarization process, as evidenced on an international basis.

September 9th, 2016

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