Fintech Nubank and Mercado Pago, Mercado Livre’s digital wallet, are accused of registering security keys for PIX, the new payment method developed by the Central Bank (BC), without the permission of customers.
The two companies were notified this past week by the Consumer Protection and Defense Program (Procon) of São Paulo to provide clarification on the complaints. Nubank and Mercado Pago deny automatic registration.
Since last October 5th, Brazilians can register information in banks and payment institutions for the use of the new service. The PIX key proposal, as the Central Bank explains, is to streamline financial transactions.
This is because it will no longer be necessary to inform the institution, agency and account numbers, for example, to make payments. Just say the PIX key, which can be CPF / CNPJ, e-mail or phone number of the customer, or a random sequence.
However, the use of the PIX key is not mandatory to carry out a transaction, and Nubank and Mercado Pago would be registering the codes without the consent of customers. The companies would also have made it difficult to cancel registrations.
“Hi. You have registered a new PIX key with Nubank. As of November, you will only be able to share this information when you receive a transfer ”, says fintech, in an email to a customer who confirms that he has not made any registration.
The registered key, in this case, was a random string. On social networks, it is possible to find a series of reports. “Why is Nubank registering my PIX keys without my authorization?” Asked a user on Twitter.
– Fábio Fernandes (@FabioJMFe) October 21, 2020
Nubank and Mercado Pago are, in fact, the two institutions that registered the PIX key the most, according to a ranking released by the BC last week. The “purple card” has more than twice the number of runners-up.
According to the latest data provided by the companies themselves, Nubank registered around 10.5 million PIX keys and Mercado Pago, 5 million. In total, the Central Bank computed just over 50.4 million registrations.
Financial institutions began to perform a “pre-registration” of PIX keys even before October 5, the date on which the Central Bank authorized the action. The registration race is an attempt to build customer loyalty.
“As the market tends to become much more open and flexible with open banking, PIX is being used a lot by institutions to build customer loyalty,” explains economist Yolanda Fordelone, from the Econoweek channel.
“Since the person is going to use the PIX on a daily basis, they will focus their finances on these memorization keys. So, if you register the easiest keys in a certain institution, you will have a greater relationship with that bank ”, he adds.
In the notification, Procon-SP asked, among other points, for clarification to companies about the channels used to offer and make available the consumer registration to PIX and how the customer gives the confirmation or unequivocal consent to the registration.
Sought, Nubank and Mercado Pago confirmed that they received the notification from Procon São Paulo and that they answered the questions within the established deadline – the agency asked that the demand be answered within 72 hours.
Both institutions claim that all PIX keys have been registered with the proper authorization from customers. Nubank maintains that it has all consents duly documented.
“Nubank clarifies that it has carefully prepared the key registration flow. He noted that some customers have doubts about the process and is available on all service channels to remove them, ”said fintech.
In turn, Mercado Pago claimed to have identified that only a few dozen of the nearly 5 million key registrations made on the site have prompted questions or complaints from users, but that the questions have been resolved.
“The Pix key registration process is being conducted by Mercado Pago in accordance with the rules established by the Central Bank. No key registration was or will be done without the user’s consent ”, he continued.
“We emphasize that Mercado Pago has chosen to implement an impartial and balanced process for registering its customers with Pix, which does not encourage or privilege the registration of specific keys, such as CPF and cell phone number.”
“If the user has any problem, Mercado Pago gives all the necessary support through the following channels: www.mercadopago.com.br/ajuda, through the desktop or in the application, click on contact us and contact us by chat or by e-mail, or 0800 637 7246 ”, concluded.
Wanted, the Central Bank did not respond. The space remains open.