What can go wrong with PIX and how to prevent it?

by Kelvin
What can go wrong with PIX and how to prevent it?

The PIX went live in November last year and, so far, there have been more than 300 million transactions that totaled more than R$ 300 billion handled. It’s quite significant and, although it’s still too early to celebrate, the system has had few problems.

But what have customers been reporting, especially on internet discussion forums such as Reclame Aqui and Reddit? I’ve listed the main issues so far and listed mini tips on how you can prepare to avoid worries.

1. Carefully use every new tool

PIX is an ultra-fast payment and transaction processing system that works 24×7 and with processing time in the seconds, that is, if you do an operation in the middle of the night, after “a few more glasses” or while responding to email, answer your cell phone or read this news, you may not get a second chance to correct any mistakes.


Therefore, when dealing with your finances, take the same care as when you drive your car on the road, for example.

2. Avoid tamarins

One of the “problems” occurred in a peculiar case: the client himself got confused and reversed the keys he registered for each account. When instructing a payment, he gave the wrong data and, obviously, the money didn’t arrive.

In addition to the scare, the customer went through the “via crucis” of being attended by a large Brazilian bank: call the bank, explain the problem. The attendant attends with that good will characteristic of our big banks. After half an hour, the client goes from being an investigator to being investigated. An hour later, the salsa shaker is set.

After 2 hours of disagreement, someone decides to ask if he could have received it on another account. Then, the customer checks his account at the other bank and the problem appears.

As many Brazilians have an account in more than one bank or fintech and the PIX key is unique per account and cannot be repeated (ie, you can only use your CPF, phone or email as a key in a single account), It is important that you make good use of your keys and properly instruct the people who are going to pay you.

3. PIX is also new to your bank

A customer reported on Reddit a recent and interesting case: his bank reported that the PIX was “failed in connection”. The client then reset his Wi-Fi, turned off his modem, turned on and off airplane mode, even asked his grandmother to see if he had a signal at home. And obviously that was all right on his side.

What happened was the following: the bank had a problem in the integration with the Central Bank and, therefore, was not connected to the PIX system. So, in addition to the technology problem, we had a second complication: communication. Like a cordless phone, the message did not help the customer understand what was going on.

As Pix is ​​new, everything that involves the product, such as messages, internal training, explanations, website changes, etc. still needs to be built.

4. Whoever with legacy hurts, with legacy will be hurt

An important bank, perfect for you, and another bank in southern Brazil had problems with “duplicate operations” a few weeks ago. Customers of these banks reported that they had operations carried out twice, that is, with double discounted amounts.

In Reclame Aqui, we can see that big red banks in SP are also having problems with processing on weekends and duplicate orders.

Technically, banks fail to duplicate transfers made via PIX due to a system error when integrating with the Central Bank platform and reprocessing orders that had already been executed.

As bank systems are many years old and operate with well-defined business rules, the changes brought about by the PIX (to be 24/7, real time, processing in seconds) often bump into systems logic and its thousands of lines of code.

Until November of last year, if I placed a TED or DOC order during the weekend, the bank’s system would receive, queue and execute at the beginning of the week. Now, because of the PIX, the system does it on the spot. And that sometimes doesn’t work.

So, because the system is so big, legacy, and old that no one is quite sure how it works, such a change often breaks everything.

But what can be done in these cases?

In addition to reporting the inconvenience to your bank or Fintech, report the problems on sites such as Reclame Aqui and Reddit (without exposing your personal data, please). If you want, it is the duty of every financial institution to offer you an Ombudsman and you can also contact the Central Bank.

Speaking of which, the regulator itself created two rules for these cases when it built the PIX: “reversal of transactions” and “attribution of responsibility for failure”, both provided for in the PIX Regulation and which we talked about the other day.


Paulo David, biweekly columnist of TechWorld, is founder and CEO of Grafeno, fintech that provides digital accounts and electronic records infrastructure for businesses and creditors; is a partner at SPC Brasil in the construction of infrastructure for the financial market. Before Grafeno, he founded Biva, the first lending platform peer to peer do Brasil, which was acquired by PagSeguro, a payment means company. He was superintendent of Sofisa Direto, the digital division of Sofisa bank. He worked on the team at Pinheiro Neto Advogados and at the investment manager KPTL (formerly Inseed Investimentos). He is an angel investor in fintechs in Brazil and Europe.