Experts warn about the risks involved in Pix installments

Photo: Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

The offer of Pix in installments has become a fever among financial institutions in recent months, but it is necessary to be careful so that the purchase does not turn out to be more expensive. Unlike conventional Pix that is free for individuals, Installment Pix is ​​a line of credit that can be approved in two ways: with a credit card or through a line of credit that is not linked to a card. The difference between them is that in Pixo with a card, the consumer uses part of the available limit to pay in installments via Pixo. An installment without a card is similar to a personal loan. Interest is charged in both cases.

Installment pix is ​​not an official means of payment of the Central Bank, but what the companies have done is to pre-empt the plan from BC. The agency’s agenda is to offer an installment mechanism for purchases via Pix, called Pix Garantido. “At the end of the year, the Central Bank will announce the development agenda for 2023. Nothing prevents banks from offering their customers loans for use in payments through Pix. It is a product of each bank,” BC reported in a note. .

According to the executive director of MIT Technology Review Brazil and coordinator of MBA studies in marketing and digital business at Fundação Getulio Vargas, André Miceli, the goal is to inject more credit into the market. “This modality is related to the products that banks offer to clients. Each will have some characteristic, but it is somehow analogous to what we find with a credit card or even with installment payment modality,” he explains.

Although it seems very favorable because it gives the buyer a sense of greater purchasing power, there is a high risk of financial uncontrollability. “The danger is entering the interest circle and defaulting. A Pixa installment customer may not be aware of the interest that is built into the purchase, and in addition, if they cannot meet the payments on the correct dates, , they could face even more interest “, says Arthur Igreja, an expert in technology and innovation.

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The method of payment can be a trigger for non-payment in those who usually do not have a financial organization. Four out of 10 Brazilian adults (39.71%) were negative in September, corresponding to 64.25 million people. According to data from the National Confederation of Retailers (CNDL) and the Credit Protection Service (SPC Brasil), this is a new record in the historic series of research conducted eight years ago.

In Pix installments without a card, the due date can start from the date of purchase. If a person purchases several times during the month, it is necessary to ensure that they will have money in their account when these installments are due, on different days. “Uncontrolled use of this tool can become a snowball, and as Pix installments are independent of each other, installment collection can have different dates and put the consumer in even more expensive credit modalities, such as overdraft,” he warns. educator Thiago Martello.

Even with the risks, experts say Pix installments can pay off when the discount offered is greater than the interest on the operation. For example, if the interest rate for an installment purchase with Pixo is 3% per month, the purchase discount must be greater than 3%. Another situation where splitting the Pix may not be very useful, but useful, is an emergency situation. For those who don’t have money in their account or access to a credit card, using Pix on installments to pay for some repairs or medical expenses, for example, can be a strain on the budget.

Most of the time Pix payment option is offered for online purchase. According to the Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce (ABComm), for retailers Pix has the potential to reduce and even replace boleto, while increasing the number of e-commerce sales.

In addition to traditional banks, there is a growing number of small financial solutions companies that offer this payment method. Many promise to release loans without cadastre analysis, so it is necessary to read between the lines in order to understand all the conditions. “If someone offers a loan without a cadastral consultation, they are taking a risk that they will have to compensate in the form of interest. And they will charge a lot for that,” warns Arthur Igreja.

For Davi Ramos, CEO and founding partner of Vanta Invest, a guideline not to be fooled, apart from looking at the company’s history, is to be suspicious of very low prices. “There is no free lunch, so the first thing is not to believe in Santa Claus. Or, when the alms are too much, the saint must be suspicious. Besides, the orientation is to buy on sites that are already known and, in this way, to avoid getting annoyed. Now , if you have a reasonable proposal, which makes sense, this is the first point,” says Ramos.

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