SÃO PAULO – Thousands of Brazilians who receive emergency aid are using fintech services to anticipate the use of resources. In some cases, fees are charged that can reach 1.99% of the amount received.
The emergency aid distribution schedule by Caixa Econômica Federal is divided into two stages: at first, a credit is made to Caixa’s digital savings account; only after that, on a second date, it is possible to withdraw or transfer the amount.
As soon as Caixa credits the amount of the aid to the Digital Social Savings account, created automatically for account holders or non-account holders of the federal bank, it is possible to move the amounts through the Caixa Tem application. The app allows you to pay bills and bills for water, electricity, telephone, make purchases on the internet using the virtual debit card and also make payments using the QR Code.
But the application does not allow you to redeem funds or transfer them to other institutions before the withdrawal date specified in Caixa’s calendar. To do this before the day of release, there are two alternatives: transfer funds using the federal bank’s virtual debit card or issue slips in your name.
In both cases, you must have an account with a financial institution that allows the issuance of slips for individuals or that accepts the transfer through Caixa’s virtual debit card. And these financial agents are usually digital banks or digital wallets.
To issue a boleto, the user must enter the application of the financial agent in which he / she has an account, access the option to “generate boleto”, inform the deposit amount (cannot be greater than the amount he has available in the Social Savings Digital account) – the balance can be checked by Caixa Tem) and issue the boleto, which is already in the name of the beneficiary.
Then, just pay the boleto through the Caixa application. After the payment of this ticket, the money is credited to the user’s account within three working days, depending on the institution.
Another option to receive the funds in advance is to issue a virtual Caixa card in the amount of the emergency aid installment and use it to transfer the balance of the Digital Social Savings account to an account of the same title.
The transfer process via virtual card works like this: in the Caixa Tem application, the user selects the option “virtual debit” and then the virtual card is generated for the transaction. Then, in the app of the financial agent, the person must select “add money” and choose the “virtual Caixa card”.
That done, you must enter the amount to be deposited in the account (R $ 600 for example) and fill in the data of the virtual card generated – such as number and security code (CVV). After this process, the money is transferred to the user’s account immediately.
How much can anticipation cost?
THE InfoMoney contacted nine banks and digital wallets to check which ones offer the option to issue a ticket or receive the amount via virtual card and the costs involved in withdrawing the money. They are: Mercado Pago, Pic Pay, PagBank, Neon, Banco Original, Nubank, Next, C6 and Banco Inter.
Next, which belongs to Bradesco, did not respond to requests until the publication of this article. All allow you to issue a ticket without charging fees. Only Mercado Pago, PagBank and Pic Pay allow the option to receive the amount by issuing the virtual card of Caixa, and only Mercado Pago charges fees in this case.
When anticipating a portion of R $ 600 at a rate of 1.99% (charged by the digital account of Mercado Pago), for example, the beneficiary pays R $ 12. Considering the five installments of R $ 600 and the four installments of R $ 300, would be about R $ 85 left on the table. A value that is not negligible, especially taking into account the fact that it could be 100% saved.
Through a note, Caixa said that it does not interfere with this type of service offered. The bank’s staff explained that it offers options for beneficiaries to move the aid money, but is not responsible for how other institutions act based on the features that the Caixa Tem app offers.
Check the table that compares the options for anticipating aid amounts and costs:
|Financial institution||Fee to prepay aid through transfer using Caixa’s virtual debit card||Institution’s TED fee to another bank / fintech||Fee to prepay aid via boleto|
|Payment Market||1.99% on the aid transferred||25 free TEDs per month for other institutions, from that is R $ 3||does not charge for the service|
|PagBank||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
|Original||does not charge for the service||R $ 8.90 and free of charge for customers with the Original Unlimited Package contracted||does not charge for the service|
|Nubank||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
|Pic Pay||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
|C6||does not charge for the service –||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
|Inter||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
|Neon||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service||does not charge for the service|
According to Caixa data, the virtual debit card is the most used way to transact the amounts of the emergency aid, since it also allows you to make product purchases or bill payments online: there are more than 112 million transactions since the aid had beginning in April, although it is not possible to know how many of these transactions were made to transfer the benefit amount to other accounts.
Second, the boleto, with more than 72 million transactions.
Why anticipate the amounts by paying fees?
In the case of Mercado Pago, until the end of July, the fee charged for this transfer was 0.8% (something around R $ 5) over R $ 600. Recently, there was an increase to 1.99% – reaching to about R $ 12 in the case of the R $ 600 installment and about R $ 23 in the R $ 1,200 installments (for mothers who are heads of household).
Sheila Ramos dos Santos, a self-employed professional, says she had to prepay three of her five installments of the aid using the Caixa virtual card option. She transferred the Caixa Tem benefit to Mercado Pago and then made a TED to her checking account at Santander.
“In the first installment, which I received in May, they did not charge anything. Then, on the installment I received in June, I was charged R $ 5. Finally, on the last of September, I was charged R $ 12. I thought it was very expensive, but I chose to do it because the money immediately falls. With the ticket, I would have to wait a few days ”, he explains.
Asked about the tariff increase, Mercado Pago stated that “it started to charge a 1.99% fee on the amounts deposited in its digital account via any debit card accepted by Mercado Pago. The tariff is used to cover part of the costs involved with this type of transaction. There is no charge for transfers made using a bank slip ”.
Since the emergency aid began in April, fintech has estimated the arrival of 7.3 million new customers, who have opened an account to transfer the emergency aid via virtual card or boleto.
Lauro Gonzalez, professor of finance at FGV and one of those responsible for the study “Effects of emergency aid on income”, comments that this collection of fees harms the beneficiary.
“It makes no sense for companies to charge for anticipation. The risk involved is credit [calote], but from the government, which is approximately zero. When this happens, there is a transfer of resources from the government to financial institutions. R $ 600 leave the government and R $ 588 enters the beneficiary’s account, which loses money, and the difference falls to the private institution’s account. It is a mistake, ”he says.
His recommendation is to seek alternatives at no cost to the worker not to lose a financial amount that is rightfully theirs.
How to transfer emergency aid without paying fees
It is possible to move the benefit money without paying fees – even without having to wait until the official calendar date – through the issue of slips.
As shown in the table above, no consulted institution charges for issuing the ticket to the customer. Therefore, this is a way to transfer money free of charge before the withdrawal date.
With the money in the fintech account or digital wallet that allows the issuance of the boleto, the user can make transfers to other banks or withdraw the desired amount from the Banco24Horas ATM network. Before, however, it is recommended to consult if the chosen bank charges any type of fee to make the withdrawal (see more details below).
In addition to transfer fees, the user can still find more expenses when withdrawing resources.
Among the banks consulted, Mercado Pago charges a fixed fee of R $ 4.90, for example, while Pic Pay charges R $ 6.90 from the third monthly withdrawal.
See the amount charged by each institution consulted for the withdrawal:
|Financial institution||Fee to withdraw the amount|
|Payment Market||R$ 4,90|
2 free monthly withdrawals, from the third the fee is R $ 6.90
|Neon||One free withdrawal per month; Neon + customers are entitled to three additional free withdrawals; above that, a fee of R $ 6.90|