North and Latin America Payscape 2025

January 2021

The Americas as a region is diverse and characterised by a broad range of economic and social development. Like most regions around the world, payment policy is playing an increasing role in driving the rate at which consumer payments are transitioning to paper alternatives. In most cases, COVID-19 has accelerated existing consumer payment trends, as retail shifts online and the emergence of fintech to increase access to financial products and services has accelerated.

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Key Findings

Domestic networks can increase merchant acceptance and card use

Domestic networks are effective at increasing merchant acceptance, establishing card payment standards and reducing the cost of card use. Although it is a more expensive option for regulators, it can have a significant impact in transitioning a market away from cash and developing the expertise to make more informed consumer payment policy.

Competition drives innovation and increases access

Fintechs have proven effective at reaching a segment of consumers who did not previously utilise financial products and services. Markets that have reduced the requirement for processing payments have seen an increase in the banked population and growth in the fintech sector.

Consumer protection drives sustainable adoption

Ensuring that financial products are simple and transparent will contribute to lasting adoption. Efforts in Latin America to limit interest rates and require clear terms and conditions have led to sustainable growth.

Coordination required for effective security standards

The continued rise in value lost to fraud has the potential to negatively impact consumer card payment growth if not addressed. Fraud losses as a share of total payment value have continued to increase in the US, suggesting current efforts need to be improved.

Financial education programmes

Financial literacy is a major barrier to adoption in Latin America. As access to financial services increases, so should financial education programmes to avoid abuse or unsustainable debt levels.

COVID-19 accelerates trend away from consumer cash payments

The importance of effective consumer payment policy has become clearer during the pandemic. With retail shifting online and with social distancing requirements favouring contactless channels, cash will continue to decline.


Americas coverage
Putting North and Latin America in global context
Key issues impacting consumer payment policy
The role of regulation
Assessing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Payment policy

Payment policy

Payment Policy

Traditional development framework
The full spectrum of payment policy effectiveness
Argentina: making payment policy a priority
Argentina: increasing financial education and access
Mexico: encouraging digital transactions
Mexico: establishing rules for fintechs
The US: self regulation and tech drive payments industry
The US: contactless gaining traction
Brazil: domestic network gaining share
Brazil: Fintechs increasing competition
Peru: establishing consumer payment policy objectives


Guiding payment policy in the Americas
Key takeaways from Americas consumer payment policy

Report definitions

Data parameters and report definitions


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