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©Better Than Cash Alliance / Jeffrey Bower

Modelo Perú Webinar

by Communications Team, April 19, 2016

The Better Than Cash Alliance recently held a live webinar with key players behind the launch of Peru’s new mobile wallet. "Bim" is the first product of Modelo Perú, which plans to bring digital payments to five million Peruvians over the next five years.

The webinar revealed the real innovation behind Modelo Perú: how 34 of the country’s largest financial institutions came together to develop a new shared payments platform to foster financial inclusion.

Modelo Peru Webinar: The world’s first shared mobile payments platform

Modelo Perú FAQs

What is the difference between Modelo Perú, ASBANC, Pagos Digitales Peruanos and Bim?

Modelo Perú is the name given to describe the unique partnership between 34 financial intuitions that came together to build one shared platform intent on increasing financial inclusion nationwide. This partnership is the result of an e-money initiative run by the Peruvian Bankers Association, known locally as ASBANC. Together, these 30+ entities jointly founded Pagos Digitales Peruanos, a business with the objective of developing and launching a national payment platform. The overall program developed by this business is called Bim (short for Billetera Movil, or Mobile Wallet), and includes the technology (the transactional platform), the brand (the acceptance mark, the marketing campaign) and the business rules (user types, transactions, fees, agents, interoperability, openness).

How long did it take to set up? How were the issuers able to agree on (each) of the key elements?

From start to launch, it took approximately 2.5 years to go from concept to final implementation. This included the design of the program, arranging funding for the initial efforts, the request for proposal (RFP) for the platform, the hiring of the staff, the design of the service, the development of the brand, the customization and testing of the product, the establishment of support services and the training of the agents.

Agreement was not always easy, but with a clear shared goal of increasing financial inclusion, the issuers were able to see the long term value of working together and coming to agreement. Since the financial institutions had clear examples of industry-wide collaboration – the local clearing house, shared ATM networks, and other jointly designed businesses, they already had a strong level of trust between them. As well, once the initiative was under development, no one issuer wanted to be seen as going against the rest of the group, and this aided reaching agreement.

Are different financial institutions (FIs) integrated or do they use Bim as a switch to transact between each other? How does clearing and settling of transactions work?

A standard integration process took place and all of the issuers have integrated into the one core transactional platform. Transactions between the accounts on the platform happen in real time, and Bim users can transact across issuers and mobile networks with ease. The process of settlement involves the platform calculating the total values transacted since the last settlement (currently 24 hours), between user types, fees, and across financial institutions. The system then sends payment requests to each issuer through the national switch to balance the funds between issuers. At the beginning of every day, the funds held by the issuers is always equal to the value of the funds held by their Bim customers.

How can my organization make best use of Bim? Can I work with Bim to process payments to my customers / beneficiaries?

Pagos Digitales Peruanos only provides services directly to the issuers of Bim accounts. The issuers, therefore, are responsible for acquiring and servicing clients to meet their payment needs. An issuing financial institution in the country is the right entry point to using Bim, rather than with the platform itself. All of the issuing financial institutions are looking forward to working with you to develop a comprehensive cash management / payment solution to meet your needs, that includes Bim where relevant.

Bim is not meant to replace the existing bank system, but instead complement it. As a result, the accounts are only suitable for certain profiles of users, and the balance limits for Bim accounts are not as high as full accounts. Provided your needs fit well with the account type, your issuing bank should be able to design a program to meet your needs.

If you require another kind of transaction not yet part of Bim, let your issuer know. Your issuer will work with the platform to determine the viability of enabling your transaction.

What incentives are available to encourage use rather than simply cashing out the entire funds?

By working together, the issuers in Peru have built a strong base to incentivize use. As was mentioned in the presentation, a shared brand, product offering, fee set, and transactions all contribute to a higher value proposition for the users. By sharing the national agent network, Bim users already have tens of thousands of access points nationwide. Merchants will soon have a strong base of users to begin developing acceptance on every street corner. The government now has a tool to disburse payments and to promote use. Businesses now can begin transitioning payments from cash to digital.

Issuers understand the long-term shift that needs to take place to move from cash to digital payments. By developing a platform that works anywhere and everywhere, government and businesses can begin to take advantage of the platform to lower costs and drive efficiencies. Once acceptance is fully developed, customer behavior is expected to shift. Further incentives may be considered in the future to encourage additional use.

Contact: If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Sonia Arenaza at sonia.arenaza@uncdf.org.

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Communications Team

Better Than Cash Alliance, New York, USA

Communications Team at Better Than Cash Alliance, based in New York, NY.

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Communications Team

Better Than Cash Alliance, New York, USA