Contactless Payments Rise In Brazil Amid COVID-19

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Nov. 3, 2020: Brazil is a country where contactless payments reign supreme over cash. Indeed, British investment consultancy Buyshares notes that Brazil is the world’s fourth largest market for mobile wallets, and transactions are expected to reach $22.3 billion this year. The surge in contactless payments have been ushered in by the growing user base for credit and debit cards, as well as the emergence of various electronic payment options.

What’s more, the ongoing health crisis has accelerated the widespread adoption of contactless payments in Brazil. Due to the nature of COVID-19 as well as the general public’s preference for contactless transactions, even small and medium retailers have started accommodating these payment methods.

As countries around the world relax their coronavirus measures, many non-essential businesses have started opening their doors again. However, current purchasing trends show that consumers are deeply concerned about keeping themselves safe during these distressing times and are willing to do what it takes to keep themselves healthy. Additionally, a survey by Mastercard outlines that today’s consumers prefer their payment experiences to be quick, secure, and convenient. Because of this, contactless payments and chip cards have been the primary payment options for most people during the pandemic — and it seems like this service will continue to have a huge user base even after the pandemic subsided.

But aside from COVID-19, financial institutions like Visa have also been pushing for the widespread adoption of electronic and contactless payments in Brazil. This is part of Visa’s push for financial inclusion and innovation across the globe. In India, Visa has partnered with budding fintech company Open, Asia’s first neo-banking platform for startups and small businesses. This has allowed Open to offer innovative fintech products such as a payment gateway for real-time payments and a business credit card for SMEs.

Another Visa partnership is providing credit to the unbanked through Petal Card, which uses user data on income, savings, and spending history instead of traditional credit scores. This opens the door to financial opportunities for more people, particularly younger demographics looking to build credit and start their financial lives on the right foot.

In addition, Spain’s Caixabank has started offering a sustainable Visa credit card made from 100% recyclable material. The Spanish bank has taken a step towards sustainability and created a card that’s made entirely from PVC waste gathered from the construction industry and plastic recycling bags.

These initiatives are focused on boosting contactless payments and encouraging more people to make the switch to easier, faster, and safer payment options. Even without COVID-19, Brazil has already been at the forefront of contactless payments, as banks have issued high volumes of chip cards and introduced new acceptance models, such as in public transport and small retailers. As issuers and institutions continue to make strides with financial technology, it’s highly likely that we’ll see more contactless payment options come to life like transactions using wearable devices and crypto credit cards.