The Central Bank of Argentina issued Communiqués "A" 6058, 6059, 6068 and 6071 providing financial institutions with the possibility of implementing new technologies in several aspects of their activity.
Continuing with its aim to integrate the financial system with the available technological innovations to foster a greater formalization of the economy and access to banking services within the Argentine population as well as to facilitate the access and usage of available digital tools (see "New Regulation Implementing the Mobile Payment Platform" in Marval News # 162) the Central Bank of Argentina ( the "Central Bank") issued Communiqués ""A" 6058, 6059, 6068 y 6071.
These Communiqués provide financial institutions with the possibility of using digital and electronic signatures in foreign exchange transactions, executing documents through digital means, opening bank accounts and receiving check deposits through electronic means, respectively.
Communiqué "A" 6058 allows financial institutions to use electronic and digital signatures in foreign exchange transactions. Among other requirements, the Central Bank determines that banks must verify the customer's identity in person and execute specific agreements to use digital and electronic signatures for purchases and sales of foreign currencies.
Moreover, the Central Bank has authorized financial institutions to open bank accounts for non-client individuals through electronic means, provided that such means are capable of granting the same practical effects of the clients' physical presence. To that end, Communiqué "A" 6059 determines that financial institutions must take the necessary precautions to comply with anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism (, "AML/FT") regulations, specifically in connection with knowing and identifying their customers.
Specifically, the Central Bank requires financial institutions to implement all necessary procedures, technologies and controls to:
- Allow the authentication of the applicants' identity and the accuracy of the data provided by them.
- Grant due compliance with all regulations regarding the use of electronic means, as well as those related to the storage, authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of the information, protecting it from any alterations or destruction, as well as from any misuse and/or unauthorized access.
The Central Bank also determined the possibility of sharing clients' information in financial institutions to verify their identity for opening bank accounts through electronic means. Such sharing of data must comply with the requirements provided by the Argentine Personal Data Protection Law No. 25,326 ("PDPL").
Regarding the creation, preservation and management of their documents, the Central Bank's Communiqué "A" 6068 allows banks to use —in addition to paper format— electronic means, provided that they ensure the documents' inalterability and are suitable for proving their authorship and authenticity. This regulation also determines that electronic signature procedures must not be admitted in those cases in which the applicable legislation requires a specific format.
Lastly, Communiqué "A" 6071 enables the electronic deposit of checks, conditioned to —among other requirements— the implementation of several information security measures, as well as the usage of the National Payments System's communications' standards. The Central Bank warns that compliance with the security standards required by the aforementioned Communiqué must not replace the risk assessment performed by each financial institution.
These regulations evidence the Central Bank's intention to promote the usage of new technologies for legal transactions and financial activity. Nevertheless, it should be noted that there are certain regulatory frameworks such as the AML/FT rules in which updates are still pending implementation to provide a technology-friendly environment without sacrificing such frameworks' objectives.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.