The Four Trends That Will Define the Payments Ecosystem in Latin America in 2023


Financial interoperability and P2P payment systems are among the solutions that will set the standard for the year.

The digital transformation in means of payment is a reality. For the first time in history, cash no longer represents the majority of payments in the formal economy, while access to a digital bank account already exceeds 90% in many countries in the region.

In this logic, and following the changes that have taken place in the sector, finance companies have the challenge of differentiating themselves in a market that, incidentally, is saturated with solution providers.

This is exactly the conclusion of Kushki, a payment technology company, and the consultancy Americas Market Intelligence, in a study that, in addition to listing the pending challenges arising from the development of this ecosystem, points to a series of trends. On the occasion of the payments industry during this year.


Interoperability as a cornerstone of the payments system. This mechanism allows users of the financial ecosystem to make payments regardless of the bank with which they have a registered account.

Under this logic, the study suggests that, by opening up exclusive networks, merchants and consumers have more options, forcing market agents to compete, resulting in lower prices, higher quality and incentives for innovation.

While regional interoperability has advanced, there are notable differences between different countries, says Koshki. Thus, while Brazil stands out for being a leader in this regard, Mexico and Chile still have more room to develop.

“This means that in these countries there are more barriers to acceleration and innovation in the digital payments market, and greater government involvement is needed to promote interoperability,” notes the study.

It also lists various opportunities for innovation and development in digital configuration, recurring and one-click payments, automation, tokenization, improved anti-fraud tools and loyalty programs.

Contact never goes out of style. This is what the report is referring to when noting that contactless technology will allow plastics to continue to maintain their competitive edge.

Credit cards are currently the leading electronic payment method by volume in Latin America, accounting for 50% of e-commerce and 20% of face-to-face payments; While debit cards have found their place in markets where access to credit is limited, according to a 2022 analysis by PCMI (Payments and Commerce Market Intelligence).

But he warned that these mechanisms, while successful, face stiff competition at the point of sale, especially in the physical channel, where cash is preferred. This is where contactless technology comes into play.

The study states that, as of February 2022, 82% of point-of-sale terminals are contactless-enabled, although it notes that the current challenge of low penetration in the region has yet to be overcome, in addition to countries’ efforts to increase anchor this. the rules.

“Many small merchants find POS hardware expensive and complex, requiring a contract with a bank, monthly fees and physical device management. While terminals have solved some of these challenges, the 78 million small merchants in Latin America still don’t accept cards , out of a total of 106 million companies.”

Pix, the successful Brazilian instant payment system, is the third trend to celebrate this year. The study confirms the good results of this initiative launched by the central bank of that country in 2020 and ensures that the model has inspired other markets to evaluate similar models.

The report points out that, in 2022, Pix will reach a total transaction volume of 2.1 billion US dollars, a value higher than Brazil’s GDP. In terms of usage, P2P (peer-to-peer) transactions represent 69% of the total, while the P2B (group lending) segment also performed positively, rivaling credit and debit card spending.

In line with the above, the P2P model or payment between equivalents is the fourth payment trend in the area.

The study recognizes that interoperable and low-cost bank transfers have increased in Latin America in recent years, largely in line with the global trend.

There, he highlights cases such as Mercado Pago in the region or Match, in Chile, although he notes that the strength of P2P will depend on interoperability to reach its maximum potential, which will bring with it the digital commitment of bidders, new users and growing revenues to mid-term.

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