news

MAY 06. 2020
The Central Bank of Paraguay amends the Regulations on Electronic Payment Entities

The Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP), in its role as regulatory authority of the Electronic Payments Entities (EMPEs), issued on April 16, Resolution No. 6/2020 by which it amends Resolution No. 06/2014 "Regulation of Electronic Payments".

The main reason behind Resolution No. 06/2020 is the need to promote and facilitate the operations of EMPEs, and thus, to adapt them to the current market demands, promote the effectiveness and stability of the financial system, promote legal security, provide an efficient service to the financial consumer and ensure the transparency of the rules governing payment instruments and services.

Among the most outstanding novelties introduced by Resolution No. 06/2020, are the following aspects:

  • The new resolution allows the electronic money account to be used also by the EMPE in accordance with the instructions of the account holder to make payments and/or transfers to the beneficiary. Previously only the account holder was able to use the account.
  • It increases the period for determining inactive accounts to 180 calendar days from the time the last transaction was made. Originally the term was 90 calendar days.
  • Originally, Resolution No. 6/2014 only established the possibility of transferring the balances of inactive accounts to a bank account of the holder or that the EMPE set up a bank account, by account and order of the holder, independently of the amounts of the balances. Resolution No. 6/2020 establishes two procedures, depending on the amount of the balance: (i) balances equal to or greater than two minimum wages must be transferred to the deposit account in a financial institution specified by the holder in the contract for the provision of services with the EMPE or, if there is no bank account, the EMPE must open a bank account, on behalf of and by order of the holder; and (ii) balances of less than two minimum wages must remain with the EMPE at the holder's disposal, and the EMPE must take the necessary steps to inform the holder of the situation and make the corresponding refund.
  • The limit of balances of electronic money in the accounts is increased to three minimum wages. The previous text of Resolution No. 06/2014 determined that it could not exceed 40 minimum wages. It also established a limit of three minimum daily wages for the monetary value of conversions and credits to accounts per calendar month; previously the limit was the amount determined by the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money or Asset Laundering (SEPRELAD) for low-risk clients.
  • It is made clear that only fees (if any) for conversion into cash and its extraction into money may be deducted.
  • Eliminates the list of minimum documents required to apply for authorization to operate as an EMPE.  The new text indicates that the necessary documentation will be determined by the BCP through complementary regulations to Resolution No. 06/2020.
  • Allows EMPEs to set up Clearinghouses to achieve interoperability of transfers between their customers.
  • It is now possible to make deposits in the BCP as a guarantee. Previously, the only guarantee option was the constitution of fiduciary guarantee. Similarly, the possibility of offering guarantee mechanisms other than those authorized (deposits in the BCP and autonomous assets) is maintained, subject to authorization by the Central Bank of Paraguay.
  • With regard to the network of agents and sales outlets, previously it was only established that no EMPE could prohibit or restrict agents or sales outlets from accessing or using other payment systems or means duly authorized by the Central Bank of Paraguay. Nor could it, in any case, establish limits and/or penalties in the event that agents used the services offered by another EMPE; Resolution No. 6/2020 clarifies that the prohibition of restrictions extends to advertising actions, and brand visibility of the services offered by another EMPE and commercial actions that any EMPE carries out with any agent or point of sale.
  • With regard to the limits on non-bank transfers, (i) it adds a new limit on transactions and operations, by which the amount of non-bank electronic transfer transactions carried out between electronic money accounts may not exceed three minimum wages per month; (ii) it allows the beneficiary, who has an electronic money account or bank account, to make partial withdrawals of the amount transferred; (iii) establishes that each non-bank electronic transfer that is not withdrawn by the beneficiary within ten calendar days from the time the transfer is sent must be transferred back to the sender or holder.
  • The prohibition for the EMPE to carry out financial intermediation, to pay interest, directly or indirectly by itself or by an intermediary is maintained; however, it now allows the EMPE to act as a service channel for financial institutions.

In addition to the Regulation on Electronic Payment Methods, EMPE are regulated by an extensive body of rules that complements this regulation. The main regulations are as follows:

-          Resolution No. 1, Act No. 77 dated 20.11.18, which regulates the opening of electronic payment institutions

This resolution establishes the procedure for obtaining authorization to operate as an EMPE, and is divided into three steps:

The first step establishes all the requirements that the application letter must contain along with the information that must necessarily be attached, among others:

- Information on the entity (name, address, telephone numbers, etc.);

- RUC;

- A copy of the company's articles of association;

- list of shareholders (including certain documentation corresponding to each shareholder);

- report of the entity that will act as trustee of the trust for the constitution of guarantees of the users' balances or, in case of offering different guarantee mechanisms, the detail, the modality and the arguments that justify the effectiveness of its execution;

- the list of the members of the Board of Directors of the company together with another of the executive staff and the proxies, providing specifically detailed personal data (including certain documentation corresponding to each person);

- a business plan with specifically determined guidelines;

- an operational and organizational plan with precise guidelines;

- the contract signed with the telecommunications service provider;

- the technical and economic conditions for the provision of the telecommunications services;

- the certificate of no objection issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL);

- the model adhesion contracts to be signed between the EMPE and the agents, as well as with the points of sale, the providers of technological services, and with the users; these contracts must follow the guidelines established in the regulations; and

- all the additional information that the BCP deems necessary to verify the asset situation and the origin of the shareholders' resources, as well as the technical capacity, experience and reputation of the directors.


In turn, the second step indicates the procedure to be followed by the BCP once the application is received. The procedure consists of a formal review of the documentation submitted, followed by the issuance of final legal and technical opinions which, if favorable, will allow the publication of the application in widely distributed newspapers and then the submission of the draft Resolution of authorization to the Board of Directors of the BCP.


Finally, the third step establishes that after 180 days from the issuance of a favorable resolution of the Board of Directors of the BCP, the EMPE will proceed to start its operations. In case of not starting operations within that period, after a report from the Superintendency of Banks, the authorization to operate may be declared revoked, and a new presentation may not be submitted within a period of one year.


- Resolution No. 10, Act No. 8 dated 31.01.19, which regulates the Information System for EMPEs.

This resolution establishes the form and frequency in which EMPEs must send the information to be submitted to the BCP.
At the same time, it empowers the Superintendency of Banks to expand the information to be sent by EMPEs, as well as its frequency. It also imposes the administrative penalties provided for in Acts Nos. 489/95 and 6104/18 for failure to comply with the duty to submit information in the prescribed form.

The means of communication established as the receiver of the data required to be sent by the EMPE is by e-mail. Only the data to be communicated annually should be presented in printed form. It is indicated that the BCP will provide model forms for reports that must necessarily be used and in all cases contain in a clear and visible way the entity to which the reported period belongs and express "This form has the character of an Affidavit".

The different data to be reported to the BCP are classified according to the frequency with which they must be reported.

(i) The total balance of users, stores, agents and points of sale must be presented daily; the balances recorded in the trust; the daily amount of the guarantee deposited in the trust; the  and the name of financial entities in which the funds are deposited. This information has to be sent to the BCP the day that follows the closing day.

 (ii) The following data must be submitted monthly: the number of existing users; the number of active and inactive accounts; the number of complaints or claims with their respective procedures and results; the number and type of access channels by district; the number of accounts by district that send and receive non-bank wire transfers and make payments at shops; the number of transactions by district that send and receive non-bank wire transfers and make payments at shops;  the number of transactions per district that send and receive non-bank wire transfers and make payments at merchants; the total number of accounts, transactions and amounts per type of service or product; the number and amounts of accounts migrated to the financial system due to inactivity and linkage; the numbers of relevant incidents of service interruption, fraud, theft and/or robbery. These data must be submitted to the BCP within the first five working days following the end of the reported month.

(iii) The audited accounting statements must be submitted annually; the audited financial statements of the trust; and, the report of the external security audits and certifications, performed to both the technological infrastructure and the applications used for the operation of the EMPEs.

-          Resolution No. 11, Act No. 63 dated 9.09.2019, which grants the authorization to manage the Clearing House of EMPEs and recognize it as a payment system


This resolution authorizes BEPSA DEL PARAGUAY S.A.E.C.A. to operate as the administrator of the Clearing House of EMPEs and recognizes it as a Payment System, in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 4595/2012 "Payments and Securities Settlement Systems". Likewise, the resolution approves the General Rules of Adherence and Operation of the Clearing House of EMPEs and establishes that the settlements, product of the compensations made in the Clearing House of EMPEs must be made unfailingly in the settlement accounts kept by the BCP.

- CIRCULAR SB. SG. No. 00072/2020 - Request for information from EMPEs

With this circular, it is established that all the modifications in the contracts subscribed between the EMPEs and Agents, Points of Sale, Suppliers of Technological Services and Users, must be sent to the BCP within a period no longer than five days after the signature of the mentioned instrument.


For further information regarding the EMPEs, please contact Carlos Vouga (cvouga@vouga.com.py), Cynthia Fatecha (cfatecha@vouga.com.py) and Georg Birbaumer (gbirbaumer@vouga.com.py).

 
















NEWS &
PUBLICATIONS


© Copyright 2013 Vouga Abogados.
Juan de Salazar 657     -     Asunción - Paraguay     -    T +595 21 202 049     -