Boleto (bank slip)

A boleto (a type of document similar to a bank slip) is commonly used in Brazil to pay for a product or service provided that follows standards set by the Brazilian Federation of Banks (FEBRABAN). By using it, the title issuer receives the amount associated with that payment from the buyer.

The boleto brings a lot of important information, such as:

FIG: Sample of information contained in a boletoFIG: Sample of information contained in a boleto

FIG: Sample of information contained in a boleto


Bank: Recipient institution hired by the billing service;
Bank prefix: Prefix number for the recipient institution hired by the billing service;
Insert line: Number representation for the bar code;


Payment location: Places where the boleto may be paid;
Expiration date: Expiration date for the boleto. After that, the boleto will be subject to discounts, penalties, and interests;


Beneficiary name / CNPJ / CPF / Address: Details for the beneficiary hiring the billing service for the recipient institution;
Bank branch / Beneficiary code: Prefix for the branch and number of the account related to the beneficiary and involved institution;


Document date: Issuing date for the document that has generated the boleto (e.g. bill, invoice);
Document number: Title established by the beneficiary when issuing the bill (e.g. service agreement);
Doc type: Type of document according to FEBRABRAN standards, composed of 240 positions. Billing that has created the boleto;
Acceptance: Free use. You need to fill it out according to the bank’s instructions;
Processing date: Generation date for the boleto;
Our number / document code: Control code that enables the bank and beneficiary to identify billing details that has created the boleto;


Bank usage: Free use. You need to fill it out according to the bank’s instructions;
Mode: Billing more used for generating the boleto;
Currency: Currency symbol (e.g. R$ – real, US$ – dollar) or code corresponding to an index for issuing the bill/duplicate/agreement (e.g TR – reference rate);
Variable currency: Quantity of variable currency;
Amount: Amount of variable currency;
Document amount: Amount of the generated boleto (e.g. amount of the bill);


Beneficiary details: Free use by beneficiary, showing the conditions under which the boleto must be paid;
Discounts: Discounts related to the amount of the boleto;


Interests/Penalties: This field should be filled out at the moment of the payment by taking into account the conditions shown in the field for beneficiary details or the information registered on the bank’s system;


Amount due: Total amount of the boleto (document amount - discounts - other deductions + fees + interests + other increments);


Payer name / CPF / CNPJ / Address: Details for the payer hiring the beneficiary’s service;
Drawer / Guarantor: company or trading name/CPF or CNPJ for the document’s issuer generating the boleto (e.g. bill);

Bar code: Graphic representation of the bank’s number, verifying digit and exclusive identification number for the boleto;
Mechanic authentication / Compensation form: Representation in numbers and letters of the details regarding a payment transaction.

Registered boleto

With the support of the financial industry, a registration process for boleto has been a change set by FEBRABAN, agreeing on the need for modernization in the settlement system for boletos. In fact, the system hadn’t had any modernization since boletos were first created, in 1993.

Such modernization resulted in the New Billing Platform (NPC), which is a system developed to modernize the process of presenting boletos, along with mechanisms that bring more control and security to this payment, thus ensuring more reliability and convenience for users. So, since 2018, the NPC has advanced to start registering boletos according to a calendar of amounts published by FEBRABAN.

Characteristics of registered boletos

• Every payment boleto/title needs to be registered at the financial institution;
• Registering the boleto enables the bank to access billing information and get different information;
• Fraud is considerably less likely due to access to details;
• It allows the payment of an overdue title at any institution;
• You can protest a title;
• Different fees are charged according to events of the title (registering, payment, settlement, canceling).

Unregistered boleto

Unregistered boletos have come to an end due to the high number of fraudulent boletos. By being required to register the title, details like CNPJ or CPF (issuer and payer), amount due and expiration date for the boleto have become mandatory at the moment of registering with the issuer bank.

Therefore, when trying to pay a boleto, an automatic information check is performed on the NPC. The operation will only go through if the details correspond.

Characteristics of unregistered boletos

• The financial institution is not aware of the title being issued; it is only aware of it when the payment/compensation is made;
• After the expiration, it can only be paid at the issuer bank;
• Details on the boleto can be changed or removed without prior notice, so you can’t check and track billing details in case a fraud is identified;
• The bank charges a single fee per paid title;
• You can’t protest a title.


Considering a scenario involving a high volume of financial transactions, National Center of Banking Automation (CNAB) is a standard set by FEBRABRAN that provides guaranteed payment for certain types of payment and more control over non-payment cases. It also dismisses the need for filling out boletos manually and, as a consequence, it decreases the number of errors on them.

The file issued for the companies is called “remittance file” and the bank’s response is “response file”. In order to set a standard for sending these files, CNAB sets the format of text and number of columns so that they’re easy to read and understand.

Since each bank has particular specifications, 2 types of files are included in the FEBRABAN standard: CNAB 240 and 400:

• CNAB 240

The type CNAB 240 involves a layout that allows:

More details set in 4 segments out of 240 positions for each one of the titles within the same file;

It can be used in the corresponding bank’s services for protest, title scheduling and bills.

• CNAB 400

CNAB 400 has the following attributes:

The file contains fewer details; each register is limited to 400 positions;

The header, transaction register and preview are mandatory; others are optional;

It doesn’t allow the corresponding bank’s services;

It can be used in mailing by the Post Office and protests.

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