By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Newly instated Mexican Banking Association (ABM) president Luis Niño de Rivera announced on Friday, March 22, that banks in Mexico will no longer charge commissions on digital accounts.
Speaking before Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) during the 82nd National Banking Conference in Acapulco, Guerrero, Niño de Rivera said that, in keeping with a request from AMLO to lower costs for average users and encourage the use of digital banking – in exchange for a promise by the president to allow the banks to self-regulate rather than be subjected to government intervention – that there will now be “zero commissions for all digital accounts.”
Niño de Rivera went on to explain that digital accounts, which reduce overhead for banks, will no longer be required to maintain a minimum balance in order to be exempt from commission fees and there will be no charges for interbank money transfers.
The idea to eliminate fees for digital banking customers was first proposed by Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal as part of a nationwide program to encourage more people to join the formal economy and reduce tax evasion and money laundering practices.
Niño de Rivera, who was sworn in as ABM president during the two-day conference in Acapulco, told the president that Mexican bankers are eager to work with his government and “open to dialogue” to find ways to accomplish their shared goals of broadening bank access to more Mexicans.
At the moment, barely 37 million Mexicans have bank accounts, and nearly 57 percent of workers do not pay taxes.
Moreover, nearly 500 of the country’s 2,442 towns and municipalities do not have banks.
AMLO congratulated the bankers for their decision to eliminate commissions on digital accounts and called on them to work together to avoid monopolies and encourage competition that would ultimately lead to reduced costs for consumers.
The president also asked the ABM members to find ways to lower costs for transfers of financial remittances from outside the country and to promote investment in key government infrastructure projects. such as his much-touted Tren Maya tourist train and the Corredor Transístmico cargo train in the Istmo de Tehuantepec.
Earlier in the day, Mexican Finance Secretary Carlos Urzúa announced that the administration is in the process of developing new regulations that will require all government transactions and payments to be conducted digitally.
Currently, more than 95 percent of all payments in Mexico are conducted in cash.