Name
Global FinTech Guide
Country Name
Costa Rica
SectionTitle
Payment services
Body
FinTechs belonging to this category offer alternative payment services which are supposed to provide a faster and cheaper way for national, European, and international payments for private and business customers by using new technologies.

For example, payment service providers hereby offer solutions to easily integrate several payment services in online shops.

Some FinTechs furthermore provide real cash register systems and online-reservation solutions for restaurants and shops providing their own payment services or making use of the payment services of FinTechs described above.

Introduction

Attitude of the country towards modern payment services

Costa Rica continues to lead regional efforts to implement digital payment solutions for the benefit and simplicity of its citizens. Thanks to a new alliance between different entities and organisations, train passengers can now pay with contactless electronic means (debit, credit cards and other devices with EMV technology) issued by national or international financial institutions, offering a better alternative and payment experience than the use of cash, maintaining the same authorised rate. This new electronic payment option for public transport use is a response to the growing interest of the Costa Rican population for digital payment solutions, driven by the new normality and an inclusive and accessible financial ecosystem for the majority. 

Since March 2020, digital payments, e-commerce, contactless payment technologies and digital security have experienced accelerated growth marked by the user’s need for more hygienic and secure transactions. According to an analysis made in the study “Commerce and life after the COVID-19 quarantine” commissioned by Mastercard in 2020, e-commerce experienced a growth of 49 % in Latin America. Under this panorama, Costa Rica has positioned itself as a model country in the digital payments industry of the region for different reasons, among which stand out: 

  • 82% of Costa Ricans have bank accounts. 
  • The high volume of mobile devices (it is estimated that in Costa Rica there are 9.05 million cellphone connection) favours the digitalisation of the payment ecosystem. 
  • Both private and governmental efforts to develop and legislate on technological developments that facilitate payments and transactions of the final consumer. 

Legal affairs

Obligations and requirements to provide payment services or ancillary services described above

Costa Rica does not have a legislation that specifically regulates FinTechs related to payment services or ancillary services. However, General Superintendency of Financial Entities (SUGEF) regulation concerning general FinTechs in Costa Rica may be applied.

To these companies could also apply the provisions of both Law 8968 on the Protection of the Person against the Processing of Their Personal Data, and Law 7472 on the Promotion of Competition and Effective Consumer Defense.

Additional comments regarding the legal situation for payment services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

N/A.

Economic conditions

Market size for payment services and biggest payment service providers

We do not have current records regarding the market for payment services. 

Additional comments regarding the economic situation for payment services or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area

N/A.

Authors

Disclaimer

© 2022, Lexincorp Central American Law Firm. All rights reserved by Lexincorp Central American Law Firm as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. Lexincorp Central American Law Firm has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this guide.

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

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