Voice of the Industry

From local sensation to global game-changer: The Pix payment phenomenon

Friday 26 April 2024 10:50 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Voice of the industry

Viktoriia Degtyareva, the CMO & Co-Founder at Paysecure, has shared with us how Pix is revolutionizing the payment industry and expanding its reach beyond Brazil's borders.


With its lightning-fast speed and convenience, Pix - Brazil's electronic payment system - has emerged as a force reshaping the way people exchange value, rendering traditional cash transactions obsolete. Introduced by the Central Bank of Brazil in November 2020, this innovative payment method transforms the way transactions are conducted by enabling instant transfers between individuals, businesses, and government entities, all within Brazil's territory.

While Pix changes the payments landscape, the question is: Are businesses ready to handle the increased volume of Pix payments?

Having a dedicated on-location team, at Paysecure, we are constantly vigilant and aware that Pix's influence doesn't stop at the borders of Brazil - it is actually going global. Brazilian tourists in neighboring countries like Uruguay and Argentina can now experience the convenience of Pix payments, signaling a new era of borderless transactions. So, another question that arises is: Are people well-equipped for Pix complexities?

To streamline online payment processing efficiently, staying in the know is a must for merchants. This is why Paysecure’s mission is to help businesses enhance visibility and control of transaction flows, reduce risks, and boost their overall efficiency - all through an all-encompassing suite of international payment solutions.

A wealth of technical knowledge accumulated over time and the ability to process 200+ APMs and 180+ currencies across diverse industries and jurisdictions have equipped us to not only understand that Pix sets its sights on surpassing cash as the dominant transaction method, but also to stay abreast of its processing intricacies. 

9/10 Brazilians choose Pix as their preferred payment

On average, each Brazilian consumer spends USD 89 per ecommerce purchase, while estimates suggest that in Brazil, the annual ecommerce spend per shopper stands at USD 1,269. In 2023, Pix commanded 29% volume share in Brazil's ecommerce sector, exerting a significant influence on the decline of cash usage. To this, let’s consider the fact that Pix experienced a staggering 74% user surge over the previous year, totalling nearly 42 billion payments across the Brazilian economy. This increase in Pix transactions surpassed the combined charges of credit and debit cards by approximately 23%.

In terms of payment methods for ecommerce in Brazil, Pix is a contender, making it the second most preferred payment method after domestic-only credit cards. This data underscores Pix's rapid ascent and widespread adoption as a preferred payment option in the Brazilian ecommerce landscape.

Should one be puzzled by this early Pix popularity and customer loyalty? Definitely not. Known for its unparalleled convenience, practicality, and speed, Pix stands as an instant, 24/7 transaction system, free of cost for individuals. Let’s also consider the fact that Pix has become a tool for previously unbanked segments of the population, empowering them to engage in digital financial activities.

Pix goes global: Bridging borders with instant payments

Pix's global expansion is gaining momentum, with interest from authorities in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Brazil's central bank is actively exploring partnerships to link Pix with platforms worldwide, with Italy already expressing interest in a bilateral agreement. 

The Bank of International Settlements is also optimistic about Pix's global potential, as demonstrated by its Nexus project. This initiative aims to facilitate global interoperability among instant payment systems like Pix, enabling cross-border transactions and enhancing financial connectivity on a global scale.

Moreover, Brazilian tourists in countries such as Argentina and Uruguay can already utilize Pix for various services, including restaurants and hotels. This system allows Brazilians to conduct transactions using reais (The Brazilian currency) via a QR code connected to a digital wallet, with businesses receiving instant payments in their local currency, USD, or stablecoins.

Cash is no longer reigning king of transactions 

The decline of cash in Brazil's retail landscape has been significant, with in-person cash transactions dropping to 26% between 2018 and 2023. Whereas, during 2020 and 2023, the volume of banknotes in circulation in Brazil decreased from BRL 370 billion to 340 billion, marking a notable 9% decline over the three-year period. Factors such as informality and inflation have traditionally been associated with this shift, but the introduction of Pix in 2020 has played a pivotal role in accelerating cash's decline. 

Despite this trend, cash remains an essential component of Brazil's financial infrastructure, exemplified by the enduring popularity of Boleto, a cash-based payment method regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil. Looking ahead, the rise of real-time payments suggests a gradual transition towards a cashless economy, with McKinsey forecasting that such transactions will encompass half of all transactions in developing markets by 2027. 

As Pix continues to reshape the payments landscape, one must ponder: could traditional card payments be the next to face disruption?

Paving the way for future Pix payments

Considering all that, it’s safe to say that Pix is not content to rest on its laurels. With its sights set on the future, Pix is poised to unveil functionalities that promise to reshape the landscape of financial transactions in Brazil.

One such innovation is the introduction of installment payments, a feature that aligns seamlessly with the local preference for flexible payment options. In a country where 80% of ecommerce transactions are made via installments, Pix's move to offer this functionality (dubbed Pix Garantido for credit transactions) is a strategic one. 

Additionally, plans are underway to implement recurring payments, catering to the burgeoning subscription-based economy. This initiative, Pix Automático for debit transactions, is set to revolutionize the way Brazilians manage utility bills and recurring services. By enabling auto-bill functionality, users can authorize payments directly from their bank accounts, streamlining the payment process and enhancing user convenience.

Looking ahead, projections suggest a continued surge in online shopping, with two-thirds of Brazilians expected to engage in ecommerce by 2027. This growth trajectory is mirrored in the market's value, which is forecasted to reach USD 125.68 billion by 2029. As Pix continues to innovate and adapt to consumer preferences, it can only pave the way for a future marked by convenience, accessibility, and financial empowerment.

Essential insights and strategies for success in payment innovation

This might be an understatement, but one needs to address it: businesses must adapt to meet evolving consumer demands and expectations.

Firstly, businesses need to arm themselves with the right tools and strategies. A comprehensive suite of payment methods is paramount, encompassing both global and local card schemes, as well as popular wallets. This ensures that merchants can cater to diverse customer preferences and facilitate seamless transactions across borders.

Furthermore, integrating cutting-edge technology is key to delivering a superior payment experience. From deposit and withdrawal requests to funds detection and updates, businesses must leverage technology that supports a wide range of functionalities. Optimized transaction routing plays yet another crucial role in meeting the specific needs of users. Prioritizing methods such as Pix or cards based on user behaviour and market presence can be the solution.

Of course, security remains a top priority in digital payments. Businesses must adhere to legal requirements and employ technical prowess to safeguard transactions and protect user data. By investing in a reliable infrastructure for cross-border business, they can instil trust and confidence in their customers while ensuring compliance with global standards.

At Paysecure, we understand the complexities of the modern payment landscape and offer tailored solutions to help businesses navigate all the above challenges. As a PCI Level 1 global payments company providing a one-stop-shop orchestration platform with optimized flows for key methods like Pix in Brazil and Interac in Canada, we ensure smooth transactions for merchants and customers alike. Our dedicated team in Brazil possesses deep expertise in Pix, enabling merchants to start accepting Pix payments swiftly and efficiently. 

About the author

Viktoriia Degtyareva, the CMO & Co-Founder at Paysecure, is a seasoned marketer with over 10 years of international expertise, predominantly within digital gaming. With a notable track record in leadership positions at LeoVegas Group, PokerStars, and Genius Sports Group, Viktoriia is passionate about introducing innovative products to the market and driving their reach across diverse geographies, languages, and cultures. 

About Paysecure

As a trusted global payment company, Paysecure specializes in providing a one-stop-shop solution for businesses, facilitating seamless integration with Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and acquirers across diverse industries covering iGaming, eCommerce, forex, sports & betting, and many more. Its comprehensive suite of products, including payments processing, orchestration platform, and the innovative User Trust Score, is designed to elevate business capabilities and optimized online transactions.

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Keywords: EPI, central bank, instant payments, expansion, cashless, ecommerce
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Paysecure
Countries: South America
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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