How Visa Direct is revolutionizing the money movement in Peru

By Marcus Vendruscolo, Sr. Director Visa Direct, Visa Latin America and the Caribbean

Like many Latin American countries, Peru’s economy is still transitioning from a cash-based economy to a digital one. With many still unbanked, Peruvians face barriers to access financial products and services. However, a digital money revolution is underway as smartphone adoption, peer-to-peer (P2P) and contactless payments continue to grow in response to the global pandemic.

Visa Direct played a key role by supporting two successful P2P programs, Yape and PLIN. These programs helped set the foundation for a national interoperable digital payments ecosystem to benefit all Peruvians and enable more avenues for seamless money movement beyond peer-to-peer payments.

Laying the groundwork for an interoperable payment’s ecosystem 

Yape, in partnership with Banco de Crédito del Perú, has over 12 million users; and PLIN, operated by Scotiabank Peru, BBVA and Interbank, has more than 9 million users. Visa Direct provided the payment rails to support these two P2P programs so that money could quickly move between users in real-time¹ using card rails, 24/7, free of charge.

Although the P2P ecosystem was thriving, there was still a problem that needed to be solved. Yape and PLIN operated in “closed loop” systems, which did not allow their users to transact with each other. To create a more inclusive economy, the programs needed to be interoperable. That’s where the Peruvian government saw an opportunity.

Opening the loop

In October of 2022, the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) mandated interoperability between all digital wallets and mobile payments operating in the country. With the help of Visa Direct, this occurred in two phases. Phase 1 made PLIN and Yape interoperable in April of 2023, by using Yellow Pepper’s Directory Network Manager, a Visa solution, to connect payments across alias directories. In Phase 2, as of July 1st of 2023, Peruvians are now able to transfer money digitally to any other Peruvian, independently of the program or financial entity used by the receiver. This also ensures that even those who are unbanked can be included in this system by getting virtual cards issued instantly to send and receive funds.

 “With PLIN we are eliminating the barriers for moving money between banks and making people’s lives easier. Visa has been a key player in enabling real-time¹ P2P payment interoperability between financial institutions in the Peruvian market.” - Theo Sauvager, Director & Head of Digital Product & Design, Scotiabank Peru

The next frontier: driving the digital money revolution beyond P2P

The story doesn’t end here. The work that's been done to help digitize P2P payment flows and connect Yape and PLIN was just the beginning. From fintechs to banks, wallets to online gambling platforms, Visa Direct is adding more players into the ecosystem to help transform how the world moves money. With interoperable global money movement, we're helping clients serve more use-cases beyond domestic P2P payments to help enable seamless payment experiences between businesses and consumers across currencies, devices and borders.

Together, with our network of partners, we're creating more opportunities for Peruvians to participate in the global economy, while helping to drive revenue growth for the financial institutions serving them.

If you want to learn more how Visa Direct is helping transform global money movement, click here.

¹Actual fund availability depends on receiving financial institution and region.

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