In the last three years, the use of digital means of payment in Ecuador has increased significantly, as they offer greater security and efficiency compared to traditional means of payment.
In 2022, through the Interbank Payment System (SPI) of the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE) and the real-time payments system, a total of 183 million interbank electronic transfers were channeled for an amount of USD 176.73 billions which is equivalent to about 1.5 times Ecuador's GDP. This reflects an increase of 116% in the number of operations and 51% in the amount with respect to 2019.
Additionally, real-time transfers registered a significant growth increasing the number of operations seven times, from 9.7 million in 2019 to 70.6 million in 2022. Similarly, the total amount channeled through this system increased six times in the same period.
It is important to mention that the use of digital means of payment were very well -received by the beneficiaries of the Human Development Voucher (BDH) granted by the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES). In fact, in 2022, the number of electronic transfers was six times higher compared to the registered number in 2019.
Furhtemore, the amount collected from basic utilities through digital means increased by 18% in 2022 compared to 2021, and the number of transactions increased by 22% in the same period. Meanwhile the value collected by physical means of payment through teller windows decreased by 16% in the last year, and the number of transactions increased only by 2%.
The Monetary Policy and Regulation Board and the Central Bank of Ecuador have promoted important reforms to promote digital payments, in order to reduce the use of cash on a national level. For example, the USD 0.22 fee for receiving interbank transfers was eliminated and the payment of basic services for payrolls over USD 76 was established through digital channels. These reforms have been accompanied by valuable efforts by banks, cooperatives and mutuals to digitize their products and services for the benefit of their users.
For this reason, we reaffirm our commitment to continue promoting reforms that promote digital means of payment, and to execute a monetary education plan that transmits the benefits of the digitalization of financial services for homes and businesses in our country.