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Credits 31 Mar 2017

Financial inclusion in Uruguay

On 2014, a series of standards were passed that aimed to significantly boost financial inclusion levels. The initial and pivotal element was the Financial Inclusion Act, which builds on three pillars:

1) Universalization of rights: Enabling access to financial services (savings products, loans and methods of payment) to currently excluded segments, and promoting it among those that can access them under unfavorable conditions.

2) VAT reduction: Implementing VAT reductions for transactions conducted using electronic methods of payment, especially with debit and credit cards and through direct debit.

3) The improvement of the payments system’s efficiency, contributing to enhance security for the particular and business customers. Promote the formalization of the economy and combat tax evasion, to also strengthen controls in money laundering matters.

With respect to the first pillar, the reform established the free access to accounts for the collection of wages, pensions and social conditions, as well as for micro-businesses.

“These measures rippled across the financial system

Improving the payments system’s efficiency requires different measures, including the collection of apartment rents through banking accounts, the regulation of prices in local interbank transfers and the use of electronic methods of payment for large money transfers. Especially as regards the purchase of automobiles and real estate properties.

These measures rippled across the financial system and put banks in the spotlight, forcing them to develop new products that conform to the new scenario, and design inclusive value offers that required big investments.

Mundo Sueldo (Wage World): A world of discounts for BBVA Customers

BBVA was the first bank in Uruguay that launched a full benefit program for wage earners based on the Financial Inclusion Act.

Mundo Sueldo is a benefit program for customers that open an account with BBVA to have their wages deposited in it. Any person that has their wages or salaries deposited in this bank – by registering at www.mundosueldo.com.uy — can access additional conditions and discounts in their debit card, apart from the updated information on all the products related with their accounts. All customers are required to do to access and start enjoying some of the conditions, especially debit card discounts, is to register.

What is BBVA looking for with this program?

Those who have their pension or salary credited in a BBVA account will have more conditions and more information, both about the effective discount rates on credit and debit card, and their advantages in other products: personal, auto or mortgage loans, for instance.

In Mundo Sueldo customers will find all the information they need about their conditions and products..

What are the main conditions that a person can enjoy by having their wage/pension credited to a BBVA account?

  • An account package that fits their needs:
  • Current or savings accounts in local currency and U.S. dollars.
  • Visa Debit Card and BBVA net included, free of charge.
  • Credit card, free for the first year, and 50% off the cost of renewal after the second year.
  • Loans subject to preferential conditions:
  • Special conditions on their purchases

The future of financial inclusion in Uruguay

Results from the first stage of implementation of the law in the country are promising:

250,000 Uruguayans have already opened a bank account to have their wages/pensions directly deposited in it.

Fees paid by companies on electronic transactions have dropped 50%.

Electronic money transfers between banks by individuals have tripled, as well as purchases with credit cards.

In 2017, the pension/wages collection process will be completed, large cash transactions will be banned and progress will be made in limiting the use of checks, in favor of electronic payments.

The speed of change increases on a monthly basis, so we expect that the payments system revolution to continue until it covers the vast majority of transactions, thus helping build a more transparent and efficient system, one that offers more opportunities to Uruguayans.

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