On February 7, the Credicard Consortium issued details concerning the operation of the alternative payment system launched by the Executive Branch. According to resolution SIB-DSB-04714, this network should be operational as from November 30, 2019, for debit transactions, and from January 30, 2020, for credit card payments. However, the private sector believes that the Venezuelan payment system, called Naiguatá, could begin to operate provisionally for debit transactions as soon as March 21. The system for credit transactions is estimated to start functioning in July.
Credicard claims that the delay in the launch of Naiguatá is due to “[the] challenging plan to be executed in less than six months, while best estimates suggest that this is a major undertaking that may take at least 18 months to develop.” For the credit card transaction system, which Credicard has not yet begun to work on, it is estimated that the network will be up and running in July. This schedule would leave the U.S.-approved Bicentennial and Venezuelan banks without a payment system for three months, since the license allowing Visa and Mastercard franchises to provide services to these entities expires on March 30.
Regarding the debit payment system, the entity stated that the network connection process has been 100% completed for the Banesco, Platco network, Banco Nacional de Crédito (BNC), Tranred,Sofitasa, Mercantil, and BBVA Banco Provincial banks. Del Sur has advanced 80%, Banco Venezolano de Crédito 65% and Citibank 20%. As we mentioned earlier, the technological infrastructure is currently in place, while the network’s contractual system is being studied by the Venezuelan Banking Association (ABV, for its acronym in Spanish). Credicard estimates that by March the banks will be connected and the system will be up and running. The process of connecting Naiguatá to the banks will be carried out by the ABV.