PIX: explaining a state-owned Fintech

Vol. 43 No. 4 (2023)

Oct-Dez / 2023
Published November 16, 2023

How to Cite

Schapiro, Mario G., Pedro Salomon Bezerra Mouallem, and Eric Gil Dantas. 2023. “PIX: Explaining a State-Owned Fintech”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 43 (4):874-92. https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-31572023-3470.

PIX: explaining a state-owned Fintech

Mario G. Schapiro
Professor Associado da FGV Direito, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Pedro Salomon Bezerra Mouallem
Pesquisador de pós-doutorado no IPP/CEBRAP, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Eric Gil Dantas
Pesquisador de pós-doutorado na FGV Direito, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 43 No. 4 (2023), Oct-Dez / 2023, Pages 874-892


This paper aims to explain the Brazilian Central Bank’s (BCB) decision to create
and operate a new instant payment system: PIX. Understanding that “digital financialization”
can take different forms, this study sheds light on the factors that led to the BCB’s choice
to launch a “state-owned Fintech”. The analysis considers three complementary factors.
Firstly, the BCB’s institutional trajectory has made it protective of its perimeter of power.
Secondly, the ideas shared by transnational networks support the active role of central banks
in managing instant payment issues. Thirdly, the interests of traditional banks were not
significantly impacted to the extent that they would oppose the creation of PIX. Through 
examining BCB documents and secondary literature, this study provides a first-hand account
of the motivations and circumstances that led to the creation of PIX in Brazil.

JEL Classification: G18; K23.

Keywords: Financialization digital financialization PIX payment systems Central Bank of Brazil