January 8th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The National Electronic Payments System, or SINPE, moves about $40 million dollars each month between bank accounts in Costa Rica, a figure equal to about 1% of the country’s GDP.
Carlos Melegatti, director of the Payments Division at the Costa Rica Central Bank (BCCR), provided the numbers.
According to Melegatti, 23 million SINPE transactions were processed in 2012.
SINPE is an easy-to-use and instant electronic funds transfer system used to transfer funds between bank accounts at different banks in Costa Rica, using a uniform 17 digit number attached to all bank accounts in the country. All a customer needs is a checking or savings account at a bank. Customers can transfer money to companies in order to pay bills, or transfer money to any private individual with a bank account in the country.
Many people also use the system on weekends when banks are closed. An average of 6,523 SINPE transfers are made each weekend.
Melegatti said that a number of improvements to the system are planned for this year, including making it easier for software developers to create software which utilizes the system.
The SINPE system all maintains a record of all transactions, in accordance with Costa Rica’s Anti-Money Laundering laws.