Financial Cards and Payments in Latin America

March 2023

Although it is not the case in Brazil, the region’s biggest market, cash is still the leading payment method in many Latin American countries. However, governments and financial institutions are working hard to encourage greater use of cards and digital payment methods as well as continuing to increase financial inclusion. The pandemic helped speed up this process, as are technological innovations and improving cybersecurity levels, as the payments landscape continues to develop in the region.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Cash remains important in Latin America

Although cash was consistently losing out to alternative forms of payment over the historic period, with the pandemic adding further impetus to this, it continues to be the leading means of payment in many of the countries in the region. Nevertheless, consumers continue to be won over by the convenience of non-cash payment methods, with government policies also encouraging the trend towards financial inclusion and cashless transactions.

Payment options continue growing in Brazil

Brazil has an increasingly competitive landscape, as open finance, digitalisation and more flexible regulations advance, and new players continue to gain space, challenging traditional banks. Not only fintechs, but also other new payment players, and even entrants from other industries that are now able to offer their own payment services and Banking as a Service (BaaS), are making the once-solid establishment adapt and respond with innovative solutions.

Going contactless on the bus in Mexico City

Working with banking institutions, the Mexican government has made an effort to implement contactless payments in one of the most important transport networks in Mexico City – that of the Metrobus. Travellers and commuters use less cash to pay for their tickets or to recharge their cards, instead using debit or credit cards, CoDi, electronic wallets and contactless technology to facilitate the process – and the number of Metrobus stations and stops able to facilitate this with the necessary technology continues to grow.

M-commerce set for further dynamic growth

Card payments will overtake cash payments during the early part of forecast period, while electronic direct/ACH transactions will continue to see dynamic growth. However, m-commerce, and mobile proximity in particular, will be setting the pace in terms of dynamism, as the increasing smartphone ownership levels push ever more consumers into making purchases and payments via their mobiles.


Key findings
Latin America expected to see strong growth in the value of its financial card transactions
Growth slows in 2022 after the year-earlier spike, but will be positive throughout 2017-2027
Personal payment transactions will continue growing in Latin America
Personal non-paper payment transactions will be driving growth in 2022-2027
CBC’s Pix instant payment system helps drive growth in Brazil
Credit cards driving growth in Brazil, the region’s biggest market
Remote mobile payments lead, but proximity mobile payments more dynamic
Mexican government looking to drive direct payments via mobile phones
Credit card usage being hit by high inflation rates in Argentina
Mexican electronic direct/ACH transactions losing ground in 2017-2022
Credit and debit cards dominate the financial card payments market
Extremely concentrated card operators competitive landscape
Transbank could see more competition in Chile in the coming years
Visa and Mastercard lead, followed by American Express and the national operators
Issuers competitive landscape more fragmented than operators
Strong growth expected for card payment transactions over 2022-2027
Pre-paid and credit cards expected to be most dynamic over the forecast period
Personal paper payment transactions decline again in 2022…
…with personal credit card and electronic direct/ACH transactions most dynamic
Further dynamic growth expected for m-commerce over 2022-2027
Mobile m-commerce proximity will record the strongest forecast period CAGR
Argentina: Market Context
Argentina: Competitive Landscape
Argentina: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value
Brazil: Market Context
Brazil: Competitive Landscape
Brazil: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value
Chile: Market Context
Chile: Competitive Landscape
Chile: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value
Colombia: Market Context
Colombia: Competitive Landscape
Colombia: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value
Mexico: Market Context
Mexico: Competitive Landscape
Mexico: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value
Peru: Market Context
Peru: Competitive Landscape
Peru: M-commerce and Consumer Payment Value

Consumer Finance

This is the aggregation of ATM, charge, credit, debit, e-purse and retail cards. Note that smart cards are not included in financial cards.

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