Cheaper than credit card: millions of Argentines already pay with QR Code to take advantage of heavy discounts

Cheaper than credit card: millions of Argentines already pay with QR Code to take advantage of heavy discounts
The modality is very popular among users and businesses do not want to be left out because of the advantages it represents compared to traditional POS
Por iProUP
12.03.2019 19.17hs Economía Digital

They stopped being a "strange thing" and became part of the usual landscape of the Argentines. You can see them at fairs, Chinese supermarkets, clothing stores and lots of businesses. Almost a year after its implementation in the country as a means of payment, QR codes continue to grow and are increasingly accepted every day.The convenience of making the transaction from the cell phone and at a lower cost for the trade are two of the engines that give impetus to this operation, which promises to consolidate even more this year.

"A revolution in the forms of payment is coming," says Mercado Libre's CEO, Marcos Galperín, in relation to this modality, which allows the merchant to collect and receive his money at the time, and the buyer to pay using his money. Market account Payment, debit or credit card, with only 3 finger movements on your cell phone.

In addition, there are two legs that play a fundamental role to enhance the use of QR, acronyms that come from the English Quick Response or "Rapid Response":

- From the purely commercial point of view, more and more benefits are offered to tempt users to opt for this modality

 

- The State, through the AFIP, requires businesses to accept a debit card and, in this case, the QR code is one of the cheapest options to be in order

For the time being, anyone who wants to buy a product or a service with this solution -either at points of sale or in virtual stores- must install a digital wallet on their cell phone.

There are already six in the country that facilitate this implementation:

- Mercado Pago, Free Market

- VALEpei, from Red Link

- All Payment, Prism Means of Payment

- PIM, from Banco Nación

- Ualá

- YacaréOnly Mercado Pago has already processed 3 million transactions with QR in 2018 and has more than 260,000 adhered businesses, so this year has everything in its favor to consolidate this trend. And one of the pillars that will underpin this growth is, precisely, the menu of benefits provided by wallets to businesses.How much does it cost to charge with QR?

The retailers see in the QR a more profitable system with respect to the classic card. Specifically, it is a capture mechanism to channel an operation, with which the final cost they will face will depend on the transaction medium used by the user.

"It is not a payment instrument in itself, but a connection mechanism that allows the consumer to unite with commerce and dispense with a card," they show on the market.

In any case, what is economical for the person who receives the money from the operation is that in order to adhere, he does not have to face any cost. Also, do not install any card reader terminal.

"We have launched a collection solution with QR self-managed by any establishment, so you can download your own code from the app without incurring technological developments," says Fernández, of Prisma, to iProUP.

In addition, ensures that this offers businesses have the same technology that today use large companies.

When calculating the economic variable, it is necessary to analyze the costs associated with each transaction made under this modality.For example, if a person has a digital wallet to pay for a product in a store that operates with a QR code:

1. The mechanism used is the PEI (Immediate Electronic Payment)

2.- The price turns out to be smaller for the one that charges

3. Accreditation is in the act

4.- Payment is made by immediate transfer

5.- No tax withholdings apply

6.- The commission may be around 0.7% of the amount of the operation

There are other schemes in which, although it is charged by QR, what is behind is a card payment:

- With debit: there is no cost and accreditation is also instant

- With credit: the operation has a cost and an additional fee is charged to dispose of the funds in the act

"The merchants do not have to pay a commission if the customer pays with a debit card or money in a Mercado Pago account, and even more: they receive the money immediately", they detail from the company.

And they add: "Neither the service is tied to an initial or maintenance fee: they only have to print the QR code or show it from a smartphone or a tablet".

However, in the case of the credit card the e-commerce giant's wallet charges up to 6% with immediate accreditation and has a cost of 0% if the establishment does not request the funds until 90 days later.

In Prisma, meanwhile, the commission is 3.99%, although it depends on the sales scheme and the number of installments. In both cases, you must add the taxes associated with the purchase, such as Gross Income, VAT, Profit, etc.

"There is an acquisition work, which is what is charged: allow the merchant to access a certain mass of cardholders, provide a fraud control service and provide support for an irregular event, among other matters," they explain from the Bank Central to iProUP.

In addition, banks collect an exchange fee between the entity that issues the payment and the one that receives the money, which is also included in the charges to the trade for the use of plastics to collect their sales.The cost to use a POS terminal to accept cards starts at 400 pesos. The commission for sale is 3.99% for plastic debit and 3.49% for credit in one installment.

With respect to the accreditation of funds, merchants receive the money five business days for debit operations, while for sales with credit the term is twice as long.Rising

"Since we launched the modality, on May 31, the growth of its use has been exponential, and we have processed more than 3.5 million payments in the more than 260,000 businesses that accept this technology," they explain from Mercado Pago.

As anticipated iProUP, the e-commerce giant sealed an alliance with Chinese supermarkets to extend this modality. It is a key initiative to massify this operation.Larravide, commercial manager of Red Link, details that the VALEpei wallet registered an impressive growth: 524% in the last 18 months, including both QR operations and money transfers between users of the application.

From Prisma argue that the number of transactions carried out through Todo Pago doubled month by month during the last quarter.

"Throughout 2018 we tripled the number of downloads of our app thanks to the use of QR and the payment of SUBE and cell phone services and reloads," says Carlos Fernández, manager of New Business Development and Commercial Intelligence of the company, that already has more than one million users in Todo Pago.

Also, to motorize the growth of this system, the transactional platforms had to go out to attract businesses, in parallel to the launching of strong campaigns of benefits, promotions and other marketing actions.

In Prisma they emphasize that they currently have an agreement with 100 YPF service stations and 50 Farmacity branches. They aim to expand this modality to a greater number of items in the short term.

"Since we began to promote the operation with the different promotions, it grew seven times the amount of payments with QR," says Fernandez.

Strictly speaking, Prisma offers every month some kind of benefit to its users, directly through Todo Pago or through the user's bank.For its part, the company of Marcos Galperín launched the #MPChallenge campaign, which began with the challenge of some Mercado Pago users to spend a whole day paying only with the digital wallet. That is, without resorting to cash.

Then, the company redoubled the bet: it opened to the consumers the possibility of accessing important benefits and rebates simply from the fact that they share a link among their acquaintances.

"The organic campaign quickly went viral, and in one day hundreds of people showed their experience paying with QR in the networks," said Mercado Pago.

"With this type of activations, we want to encourage the public that has not yet been encouraged to test the system and that businesses see the level of acceptance that the QR code has among consumers, and also to discover the benefits that this modality can offer. to your business, "they explain.

Yacaré, a entrerriana company that is a pioneer in the sector, sealed an agreement with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires so that all the bills of Buenos Aires services have their QR code printed.

According to surveys conducted by Prisma among the users who paid with the Todo Pago app, three out of four rate the experience as very good and indicate that they gained time, they were innovative and a safe experience.

"Once users try this alternative, they become recurrent users, since they value the functionality and perceive the value of using it," says Fernández.

Customer loyalty is key to give impetus to this operation, which although it is growing by leaps and bounds, still represents a small portion within the means of payment."Physical" money loses prominence

Electronic payment methods were born after the Central Bank, based on the management of Federico Struzenegger, promoted the reduction in the use of cash and integrated the Financial Innovation Board, which brings together the main players in the market to find a way to Promote new methodologies.

"The big challenge is that digital money replaces the physical ticket over time." Beyond the issues of cost savings and security, it is essential that the tax incentive be aligned, "says Larravide, of Red Link, to iProUP.

In this sense, he proposes: "Electronic money should not be taxed and liens should be charged on the movement of cash".

From Mercado Pago they add that the QR has a lot of potential, and that the main objective pursued by the firm is that more and more locals adhere.

"We see that it is a highly accepted modality and we believe it is an advance towards a 100% free cash model, more agile and safer for all," they detail.

Larravide points out that one of the keys is to expand the digital ecosystem and that all market players can operate in a coordinated manner to lower costs and be more efficient.It refers to that all QRs are interoperable, so that a store that has a QR code from a provider (Mercado Pago, Todo Pago or VALEPei, for example) can be scanned (and paid for) with the virtual wallet of another company.

Today, there are some companies, such as Yacaré or Todo Pago, that accept the use of other wallets, but it is not yet widespread in the market.

In short, the beneficiaries are so many shops, with low costs to adapt to the rules of accepting debit, and users, who not only earn with promotions and campaigns to use this operation, but also have the convenience of paying directly from his cellphone.

"From Todo Pago we aim to be a platform that improves the lifestyle of users, we seek to have a positive impact on people's lives", summarizes Fernández.

Sounds logical. Everything is given so that these virtual wallets are consolidated in the market and coexist with other electronic modalities, while the use of cash is giving ground.

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