Mexico
Press Release

According to Visa, use of contactless payments in Latin America and Caribbean doubled in 2021

Bnamericas Published: Monday, February 21, 2022

This is a machine translation of the original release from Visa published in Spanish.

Close to 35% of all face-to-face payment transactions made with Visa credentials in Latin America and the Caribbean in December 2021 were made with contactless technology, which represents a nearly two-fold increase in the use of this modality in the whole region compared to last year.

The company revealed that eight countries in Latin America and the Caribbean already carry out more than half of face-to-face transactions with contactless technology. Among these are Chile (where penetration exceeds 84%), Costa Rica and Guatemala (with more than 70%), Panama and Bermuda (between 60% and 70% penetration), and Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua and El Salvador (which had more than 50% penetration).

According to Visa Consulting & Analytics, the consulting division of Visa, the countries with the fastest growth rate of contactless payment transactions, compared with 2020, were Brazil, where these transactions grew seven times; Argentina and Colombia, with more than 200% growth and Peru, Chile and Guatemala, with numbers that vary from 100% to 200% in relation to the same period of the previous year.

According to the VCA analysis, as of December 2021, the commercial sectors where this modality was used the most were supermarkets, service stations, department stores and restaurants.

"We strongly believe in the potential of contactless payment. In general, once consumers have their first experience with this technology, it becomes part of their daily payment routine because it offers convenience, ease of use and security" said Tania Oliveira, Vice President of Visa Consulting & Analytics for Latin America and the Caribbean. "That's why we've been working to develop new use cases for contactless payments to bring these benefits to other areas of consumers' lives, whether it's transportation, encouraging the issuance of more Visa contactless credentials, or the point of sale by expanding the acceptance of these payments, from the payment terminal or with the use of Tap to Phone, technology that transforms the current generation of smartphones into point of sale terminals.”

“In Chile, more than 84% of the face-to-face transactions that were carried out up to December 2021 were made with contactless payments, which shows the growth and adoption in the use of this fast, secure and convenient technology by consumers and local businesses,” said Gustavo Carrizo, VCA Senior Director for Visa Southern Cone.

Some points to highlight in the analysis conducted by the VCA on the use of technology in 2021 in the region include:

  • More than 150 cities around the world have already enabled contactless technology to facilitate the payment of public transport fares. Latin America and the Caribbean was a pioneer in the use of this solution, which is already available in multiple transport systems in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
  • The adoption of contactless payments in Chile and Costa Rica has been massive and has seen marked growth since 2020, which continued in 2021, even when compared to the adoption of the same technology in Europe.
  • One of the most important factors that makes Chile a model for digital payments in Latin America is its rate of banked consumers with access to this technology, which exceeds 73%.

*Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) analysis of data from transactions made through Visanet in 2020 and 2021 in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dutch Caribbean Islands, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay , Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Marteen, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States Virgin Islands, and Uruguay.

About Visa

Visa (NYSE: V) is a global leader in digital payments, facilitating payment transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities in more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world with the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payment network to help individuals, businesses and economies prosper. We believe that inclusive economies power everyone, everywhere and see access as critical to the future of moving money. Learn more at Visa.com.

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