In the age of Pix, Brazilians still handle 200 million checks a year – Notícias

The use of checks remains strong in Brazil, even with 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 are cleared each year – 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 banking population, continues to replace cash, cards and electronic transfers, especially in regions further away from large centers and with precarious internet access.

A survey by the Central Bank at the request of Estadão shows that the advent of Pix, at the end of 2020, helped to reduce the circulation of checks, but that 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 dissemination of Pix, 76 million sheets were issued.

intermittent internet

The Deputy 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, working as if it were a credit”, says Faria. He believes, however, that, with the advancement of banking and the improvement of the internet signal, the use of checks will continue to fall.

Merchant makes 90% of payments by check

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 the check 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 the check to you. These days, only 5% of the checks I get come 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 merchants to schedule payments. “It helps them to control their business financially. It helps explain why the check is still widely used, despite the advancement of cards and Pix,” he says.

credit instrument

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, including 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 places with up to 20 thousand inhabitants.”

Expert gives tips on how not to fall for the Pix scam