Instant payments in Argentina: Perspectives for Transferencias 3.0

Published on Nov 08 2022.

reading time 11 minutes reading

In December 2020, the instant payment system in Argentina was kicked off, which is called “Transferencias 3.0” and implemented by the Central Bank of Argentina, BCRA. But how does it work? And what are the advances and perspectives seen since then?

Like the models already launched or under discussion in other Latin American countries, Transfers XNUMX arrived with the strong purpose of accelerating the Financial inclusion and to make the user experience more fluidat the time of making payments. However, even with clear advantages for buyers, retailers and companies in the financial universe, there is still a way to go to accelerate adoption and, in fact, help boost the Argentine economy.

In this article, we’ll discuss the specificities in Transferencias 3.0 and look into the challenges and perspectives for the system adoption in Argentina. Check it out!


How does Transferencias 3.0 work?


This BCRA initiative first came up to promote an open and universal digital payment system in Argentina. Through interoperable QR Codes, it enables their users to transfer amounts of money instantly using their smartphones and any digital wallet or bank app.


Features in Transferencias 3.0


  • Free and instant wire transfers, 24/7;
  • Easy wire transfers via QR Code, cards, DNI, biometry, payment requests, etc;
  • Convenience for retailers to choose from service providers showing the best offers;
  • Technology centralized by the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA);
  • Interoperability in open data for integrating all types of accounts.

INFO-Paid for transfers

Read also | Instant payments around the world: how 5 other countries adopted models like Pix


‘Battle’ against cash: Understand the advantages in instant payments for Argentina


Similar to instant payment systems in other countries, Transferências 3.0 in Argentina brings significant advantages for buyers and retailers of any segment as well as companies in the payments and banking industry.

The increased convenience and higher agility in the system promise to bring important advances for the Argentinian economy. In BCRA’s words, Transferências 3.0 was released as an attempt to fight against an ‘enemy in common’, which is the use of cash.

The objective is for the population to gradually migrate to use this means of payment more modern, reducing the use of money, which has higher associated costs and low traceability.


Advantages in Transferencias 3.0 for retail:


In order to incentive micro, small and mid-sized businesses to adopt it, BCRA has suspended fees for the first 3 months of usage, limited to first 50 pesos handled a month. After that period, commission is limited to 8 pesos a month.


As instant payments advance in Argentina, some key benefits include:

  • Credit in accounts immediately and irrevocably;
  • Lower cost for receipt vs. payments through cards;
  • Improved client experience for making more payment methods available;
  • Lower risks for carrying less cash at store;
  • Easy payment reconciliation;
  • • Streamlined inventory management for e-commerce, since immediate compensation eliminates the need to set goods aside until payment is confirmed.


Understand how Transferencias 3.0 works in retail:

Read also | Financial inclusion in Brazil: a challenge for the country, an opportunity for retail


Advantages in Transferencias 3.0 for consumers


The more streamlined the payment experience is, the better it is for the user. Keeping that in mind, instant payments serve as an important advance to make everyday tasks easier for the population in Argentina.


See some of the benefits in Transferencias 3.0 for consumers below:

  • Security and convenience for reducing the need to have cash on you;
  • Free system for users;
  • • No need to install any new app; you just need your existing digital wallet with QR Code scan enabled;
  • No need to associate any debit or credit card products with the app.


Advantages in Transferencias 3.0 for the payments and banking industry:


The financial industry closely followed the process of formulating the instant payment system regulation in Argentina and widely accepted it. After all, the whole movement for evolving the industry also brings excellent business opportunities.


Some of the benefits of Transferencias 3.0 for banks and fintechs include:

  • Inceptive for offering innovative financial services;
  • New tool for improved customer loyalty;
  • Room for consolidating services related to digital means of payment as more people start using it.


What to expect from instant payments in Argentina?


Advantages for users, retailers and companies from the payments and banking industry are essential to consolidate Transferências 3.0. And more importantly, there should be a significant impact on the Argentinian economy overall.

In this context, one of the most awaited evolutions with the system is the biggest banking of the Argentine population, as has been observed in other countries with successful modelsof instant payments - among them, neighboring Brazil with the Pix. As pointed out in the study Land of Opportunity studyprepared by Dock, despite access to bank and fintech accounts in Argentina having grown by 60% since 2017, there is still a lot of room for expanding financial inclusion.

Transferencias 3.0 as a tool for promoting competition


This increased number of people accessing financial services is also related to their incentive to competition in the industry, which is a goal for Transferencias 3.0.

It is expected that lower costs and more streamlined processes for transactions through instant payments in Argentina make more room for new players to join the industry, whether they’re fintechs or companies from different industries looking to add financial services to their operations.

Thus, thanks to more competition between fintechs and traditional banks, perspectives on innovating and customizing services for including the unbanked population tend to grow.


A new instrument for growing e-commerce in Argentina


Another positive effect caused by instant payments in Argentina is the impact on e-commerce, which is in rapidly growing since the need for social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic. So, e-commerce started benefiting from Transferências 3.0 when it comes to improved buying experience, agility and security.

As you can see in the graphic below from the Land of opportunity study, there’s still room to cover when it comes to the mix of payment:

lands of opportunity argentina

Considering the context of the economic recession and inflation that Argentina faces post-pandemic, the advantages brought by Transferencias 3.0 are especially interesting, since they can drive sales and contribute to reheating the retail industry in the country—whether physically or electronically.


Read also | Buy Now, Pay Later: a model with huge potential in Latin America. And opportunities for your business!


What’s next? Challenges and growth for instant payments in Argentina


Released only a month after Pix in Brazil, this instant payment system in Argentina hasn’t been as successful as its Latin neighbor so far.

Among possible reasons, it’s possible to mention issues reported in enabling QR Codes for some digital wallets right at its release, which forced the system to go through fixes and patches from the get-go.

The inflation and economic crisis scenario also played a role in a slower advance than in the Brazilian case. It is also worth noting that there’s still a cultural barrier which the population is gradually overcoming.

In the Brazilian case, the emergency funding during the pandemic ended up contributing to banking part of the population, as well as promoting a more disseminated use of electronic means for moving amounts of money.

However, although there is an incremental migration in Argentina, it is expected to be consistent and permanent. According to statistics provided by BCRA itself, the use of mobile banking platforms by natural persons grew by nearly 90% between 2016 and 2021, for number of transactions made as well as amounts of money moved in transactions.

The increased use of smartphones for making financial operations has been accompanied by a decrease in use of ATMs, while the use of home banking platforms has remained steady. The significant increase that is expected for new mobile lines should also drive the use of instant payments in Argentina. Thus, Transferencias 3.0 should indeed contribute to higher efficiency in the payments and banking industry in the country.


We’re keeping up with the transformations in the financial universe in Argentina


In 2022, the Dockformally started operating in Argentina in 20 as part of our expansion throughout Latin American. Therefore, we’re bringing our 20 years of experience as a platform for means of payment in the region, while also learning more about all specificities that should be taken into consideration in order to contribute to developing innovative financial solutions.

We believe instant payments in Argentina will continue to show great advances and be a key tool for accelerating financial inclusion and moving the economy.

Want to learn more about how we take part in that transformation? Watch our video manifest:


Transferencias 3.0 in Argentina: Takeaways from this article


  • The instant payment system in Argentina is called Transferencias 3.0, released in 2020 by the Central Bank of Argentina, BCRA.
  • Key goals for Transferências 3.0 include contributing to financial inclusion and reducing the use of cash in Argentina.
  • Instant payments in Argentina offer advantages for consumers, retailers and businesses in the payments and banking industry, including security in not carrying amounts of money in cash, easy payment reconciliation and incentive for innovation.
  • This instant payment system in Argentina helps accelerate competition in the payments and banking industry in the country, serving as an incentive for new solutions to add the service and for new players to join the industry.
  • Although it still hasn’t been as successful as the models in other countries, Transferencias 3.0 has evolved in Argentina and should contribute to an improved economic scenario.


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