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This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Bolivia initiates interoperable payment solution with QR codes

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – When it comes to fintech news, Bolivia doesn’t appear often in the headlines. Now, this could very well change since it has become the first Latin American country to adopt QR codes as an interoperable payment solution via “$imple.”

In Summary

The Association of Private Banks of Bolivia (ASOBAN) debuted the service last Friday in La Paz at the Ciudad Digital Financiera fair. The $imple platform authorizes Bolivian banks, businesses and citizens to transfer funds between bank accounts using QR codes for added security.

“Everyone with a bank account and a smartphone can freely access their resources, wherever and whenever they want, without needing to use cash,” said Nelson Villalobos, executive secretary of ASOBAN.

Private banks in Bolivia are now implementing the digital tool as a payment and collection system. All the same, transactions can be made person-to-person or from a distance.

In-Depth

$imple attempts to eliminate the complexities of making payments via mobile devices. The “interoperability” of the program means that it functions with other products. In that sense, the QR codes are connected to an electronic funds transfer system among Bolivian financial institutes.

It also wants to encourage greater confidence among the public who can administer personal finances over their mobile devices. If everything goes well, this program “will eliminate friction in financial and personal transactions,” according to Villalobos.

When prompted, $imple will generate an encrypted code to ensure the validity of the payment or collection via QR codes to prevent fraud. Sources claim this to be a safe method since it doesn’t require sharing bank account numbers or any other private information.

Bolivians can send up to B$5,000 (around US$725) without any commissions over the mobile app. Available 24 hours a day, users receive immediate confirmation of their payment or collections. It only takes a matter of seconds to verify the authenticity of transactions

Here are the steps.

  1. Download the $imple mobile banking app on a cellular device.
  2. Open $imple
  3. Log in
  4. Select between collections, payments or transfers

Good to go.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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