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The central bank will change the mechanism for returning undeserved pix, as 91% of requests are rejected

The central bank will change the mechanism for returning undeserved pix, as 91% of requests are rejected

The Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) and the Central Bank will change the operation of the Special Return Mechanism (MED), a Pix feature created to facilitate the return of funds in cases of fraud. According to BC, only 9% of applications in 2023 were paid.

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Created in 2021, the Mediterranean Investment Fund received 1.5 million refund requests due to fraud in 2022, and 2.5 million in 2023, the central bank reported. This year, from January to May alone, there were 1.6 million applications.

According to a survey by financial institution Asaas, Pix has become the preferred method for criminals to carry out fraud, even surpassing credit cards and bank vouchers. Of the 530,776 fraudulent transactions analysed, 71% were carried out through Pix, 15% via credit card, and 14% via bank voucher.

The refund depends on the funds in the scammer’s account

With MED, if a customer is a victim of a scam, they can file a complaint with their organization within 80 days after making the transfer via Pix. Upon notification, the funds are frozen in the recipient’s account for analysis. If the fraud is confirmed, the money will be returned to the victim, but this depends on the availability of funds in the fraudster’s account.

A study by digital financial security company Silverguard identified that 89% of refund requests via MED are rejected due to a lack of balance or the account that received the funds being closed. This is because, in most cases, the scammer quickly transfers the money to other accounts or withdraws the amounts after the scam, making it impossible to return them.

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Furthermore, Silverguard research found that despite Pix being a popular payment method, 9 out of 10 Brazilians do not know what MED is or how it works. Even those who have already been scammed are unaware of the possibility of getting a refund. See how it works:

How to use med

  • If you are a victim of a scam, contact your bank through the app or official channels, and contact MED;
  • The bank will then notify the alleged fraudster’s institution, which will block the amount available in the account;
  • The case will be analyzed;
  • If it is determined that there is no fraud, resources will be opened to the recipient. If the fraud is confirmed, the customer will receive a refund, depending on the amount available in the fraudster’s account;
  • MED can also be used when an operational failure occurs in an organization’s Pix environment, for example, in the case of a duplicate transaction.

February proposes a new model

In the current MED model, a violation notice allows blocking only the first account – i.e. the first tier – that received the amount. With the proposal made by Viprabhan, the idea is to block resources in other triangulation layers. The goal, according to Viprapan, is to “reduce the practice of various types of fraud and scams using BEX as a means.”

The new project has been named MED 2.0 and will be developed throughout the second semester. It is expected to be implemented at the end of 2025, Viprapan reported.