Digital payments gaining preference among LatAm consumers

Ellie Duncan
17 Dec 2021

Consumers in Latin America have a growing appetite for digital payments and regularly use non-bank payment apps, according to new research by fintech-as-a-service business Rapyd.

Its survey of more than 1,000 active bank and banking services users from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil  revealed that among those consumers with active bank accounts, there is a growing preference for digital services.

98% of Brazilian, 94% of Mexican and Colombian, and 89% of Argentinian bank customers said that they made regular use of bank apps and online banking services.

They demonstrated “high usage” of non-bank payment apps, with 96% of Mexicans and Brazilians, 87% of Colombians, and 84% of Argentinians regularly using applications such as PayPal, Modo and MercadoPago, among others.

The survey by Rapyd also found that Latin Americans are willing to leave traditional banks in favour of digital-only banks, with 83% of Brazilians, 65% of Mexicans and 67% of Colombians expressing readiness to make the shift, although only 34% of Argentinians are currently willing to do so.

“Latin America is quickly emerging as one of the most digital-savvy markets for financial services,” said Eric Rosenthal, VP of Rapyd for the Americas.

“Whether you’re a company already operating there or you’re poised to enter the market for the first time, it would be unwise to ignore the shifts in consumer behaviour.”

He added: “Our data strongly indicates that businesses with an eye on LatAm should meet consumers where they are increasingly operating – digitally.”

The survey results also pointed to increased adoption of social commerce, given that more than 50% of those polled said they had made social commerce purchases, and 40% identified the greater variety of payment methods as a benefit for choosing social commerce.

When making social commerce purchases the most dominant payment method in Colombia and Mexico is a bank transfer, at 61% and 54%, respectively.

In Argentina, Rapyd found that transfers are tied as the most-used method at 41%, along with cash payments in local convenience stores. In Brazil, cards remained the dominant payment method, with credit cards at 67%.