All questions


i OverviewCash

Cash remains the default legal payment method in Chile.

Credit card

The UDR defines payment cards – credit, debit and prepaid cards – as any instrument or any physical, electronic or computing device that has a unique identification system of the payment method, and whose support contains the information and security conditions proper of such payment method, which allows its owner or user to use a credit or, as the case may be, to use cash deposited in an account, to acquire goods, pay for services or extinguish other payment obligations with entities that are affiliated with the cards system. Credit cards are widely accepted as a payment method in Chile.

The SBIF supervises all institutions that issue and operate banking and non-banking credit cards. In addition, Chilean law limits the liability of credit card holders in case a card is lost or stolen, once the cardholder has notified the issuer.

Debit card

According to the Compendium of Financial Rules of the Central Bank, only banks and credit unions supervised by the SBIF may issue debit cards. Debit cards are widely accepted as a payment method in Chile.

Prepaid card

According to the Compendium of Financial Rules of the Central Bank, prepaid cards allow the holder or bearer to have funds deposited in an account called a Fund Provision Account, which has the exclusive purpose of receiving funds to provision the respective cards. The resources in these accounts will be in national currency, will not accrue readjustments or interest, and cannot be overdrawn. Prepaid cards are widely accepted as a payment method in Chile.

Bank cheque

Chilean legislation defines a cheque as a written order, issued against a bank, to pay upon its presentation, from within the funds that the drawer may have in a current account. A cheque is always payable on demand, at its submission before a bank.

Chilean law establishes that banks are liable for paying falsified cheques when the signature differs from the real account holder's, when the cheque has obvious alterations or when it does not match with the serial numbers of the account holder's chequebook. Further, payment of lost or stolen cheques will be suspended upon immediate notification to the bank and of the account holder.

Account holders who write cheques without funds in their current account may commit a serious criminal offence on the grounds of fraudulent issuing of cheques.

Electronic transfer

This method refers to any money transaction performed by electronic devices (e.g., PCs, mobile phones). It is mostly regulated by the UDR. The Protection of Consumer Rights Act makes clear that consumers may make electronic transfers to any bank and that banking institutions may not restrict this right.

Banks must provide a system that ensures privacy to account holders and back up all the information of transactions. Further, banks must develop systems to identify fraud.

ii Recent developments

Almost all institutions of the Chilean banking system have mobile apps that can be operated 24 hours a day and run from electronic devices. The SBIF is continuously developing new rules applicable to electronic devices.