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Pix reduces check circulation, which remains firm in smaller cities

The use of checks remains strong in Brazil despite the popularization of pix , which meant a revolution in the way Brazilians move their money. As a salary payment or installment tool, more than 200 million check sheets – more than half in the Southeast.

The conclusion is that this means of payment, already left in the drawer for some years by a large part of the banked population, continues to replace cash, cards and electronic transfers, especially in regions further away from large centers and with precarious internet access.

Withdrawal by the Central Bank at the request of the Estadão shows that the advent of Pix, at the end of 2020, helped to reduce the circulation of checks, but the clearing number remains firm, especially in smaller municipalities, with a strong presence of agribusiness.

In 2020, 287 million checks were cleared, a volume that dropped to 219 million in 2021. This year until May, even with the spread of Pix, 76 million sheets were issued.

The assistant director of Services of the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), Walter Faria, recognizes that this payment instrument remains relevant in the country, especially where the internet is intermittent.

“Some merchants, for example, still ask for the check. They still endorse the check and pass it on, functioning as if it were a credit”, says Faria, although he believes that, with the advancement of banking and the improvement of the internet signal, the use of checks will continue to fall.

Entrepreneur José Oliveira, who works in the purchase and sale of vegetables for retail, explains that the use of checks is part of the business culture. Monthly, he uses about 200 sheets of the post-dated ballot to purchase inputs for the company.

“At least 90% of my payments are made by check,” he says. “At Ceagesp (Companhia de Entrepostos e Armazéns Gerais de São Paulo), the use of checks is still very strong, hardly anyone makes a payment through Pix.”

Despite the dependence on the type of credit, the entrepreneur says he prefers not to pass on checks received to avoid headaches in case of default. “You have to be careful who writes you the check. Nowadays only 5% of the checks I receive end up coming back,” he says.

With post-dated, the check occupies a space that other means have not yet entered. Professor at the School of Economics at FGV, Joelson Sampaio says that the check allows the merchant to schedule payments.

“This helps them in financial control of their business. This helps explain why the check is still heavily used despite the advancement of cards and Pix,” he says.

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In Porto Feliz (SP), a city with just over 50,000 inhabitants, musician Rodrigo Moura recently took out his check to pay for a renovation. That’s how he managed with service providers, such as the glazier, the possibility of installment payments.

The Sicoob credit cooperative, the largest in the country in number of bank branches, having recently surpassed Banco do Brasil, perceives a volume of checks that is resilient to the latest technological innovations.

“Check is still a widely used instrument, it has been reduced, but it remains important and still circulates a lot, including as a credit instrument”, says the director of Systemic Coordination and Institutional Relations of Sicoob, Ênio Meinen.

“It is widely used in locations with up to 20,000 inhabitants”, he concludes.

The information is from the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo

Source: CNN Brasil

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