Pix payments exceed credit, debit card transactions in Brazil

Ellie Duncan
26 Jul 2023

The number of Pix payment transactions, Brazil’s instant payments scheme, have outnumbered credit and debit card payments in the country.

According to a review of data from Brazil’s central bank by Matera, Pix transactions totalled 8.1 billion in the first quarter of 2023, compared to 4.2 billion credit card and 3.8 billion debit card transactions during the period.

This made it the first quarter where the number of Pix transactions exceeded those made by credit and debit combined, Matera revealed in its ‘Pix by the Numbers’ report, its mid-year report on the adoption of Pix.

Its analysis of the data showed that credit and debit’s share of transactions has been declining since Pix launched.

Pix accounted for 35% of all transactions in the first quarter of 2023, up from 23% a year ago, while credit card transactions were 18% of the total, down from 20% one year ago and debit card transactions reduced to 16% of the total, compared to 20% a year earlier.

Matera found that nearly 30% of Pix transactions are initiated by QR codes, with Brazilian consumers presented with a QR code by merchants and billers which they scan and pay by mobile phone.

Matera’s chief executive officer Carlos Netto pointed to the learnings from Brazil’s Pix for the US, which has seen the Federal Reserve’s instant payments scheme FedNow go live this month.

“With FedNow and RTP, US financial institutions have a real opportunity to innovate on top of these new payment rails to give consumers and businesses better payment options,” said Netto.

“Pix shows how intuitive payments can be. It poses the greatest threat yet to credit card dominance.”

He added: “That said, there is still time for credit card companies to innovate. The only thing that is certain is that the US is on the cusp of true disruption in the payments space.”

Matera, which provides instant payments, QR codes and digital ledger technology, is a third party provider of Pix instant payments.