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Ecuador News

Ecuador’s new ‘electronic money’ system should be operational in 2018, the Central Bank says

The director of Ecuador’s Central Bank predicts that a rejuvenated version of  the country’s digital money system will go live in 2018.

Central Bank president Verónica Artola

Following a meeting Monday with private banking and government officials, Verónica Artola, said she believes issues involved in transferring management of the system from the government to private banks will be resolved in the coming months.

“The Financial institutions involved must comply with a number of technical and reporting requirements,” she said. “Among these are ensuring that the computer platform can operate at low cost and provide a full range of services to users.” She added that legislation is being prepared for the National Assembly to allow banks to assume responsibility of the system.

Rolled out to great fanfare by the government in 2013, the digital cash system, operated by cell phone, was a resounding failure with the public, attracting less than 10% of the predicted users. Artola believes having banks manage the system will make it more popular.

5 thoughts on “Ecuador’s new ‘electronic money’ system should be operational in 2018, the Central Bank says

  1. This is funny! I have lived here long enough to see its future. Instead of buying some electronic currency from private groups in Ecuador, buy some really nice investment property in Miami for them when they abscond with your money! To say “trust issues” might be a problem is an understatement. Heck, even the VP’s family and possibly the VP himself have been found with their hands in the till, you really think this will fly or fly honestly? LOL, stick to the Miami properties. You will have more customers coming. Remember that this is Ecuador!

  2. Do not see this working well at all here and forcing it on people will not end well either. Also, will make banking here more complicated for Expats not interested, perhaps.

  3. The devil is in the details. I’ve seen mobile phone “banking” work in several countries. I’ve even used it myself in Kenya on safari com.

    Basically, poor people don’t bank. Banks don’t want them as customers and often the people don’t trust banks. On the other hand, many poor people have mobile phones (or have someone who lets them use theirs).

    So, it can work if implemented reasonably well. And it could even be great for Gringos since it eliminates the issue of “no change”, 30 pennies in change, etc. Furthermore, it could even be used to pay bus fare, taxi fare, and even tips to the carryout staff at stores.

    So, give it a chance IF it looks good. As always, skip it if you don’t trust it.

    1. I would use it if I can pay taxi drivers with it or even to buy my yearly Big Mac from McDonald’s. May not keep a very big balance in the linked account.

    2. MountainHimbre, I agree with you that the theory is good but once you add in the larcenous jefe you have business as usual in Ecuador. Someone always runs off with the cash!

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