Voice of the Industry

The 4 main payment trends in Latin America for 2023

Wednesday 9 November 2022 13:56 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Voice of the industry

From instant payments and Buy Now Pay Later to the establishment of Open Banking, the Head of Operations for PagSeguro – International Division Ézio Pontes presents the tendencies that should not miss from your company’s strategies for LATAM in 2023.


A USD 375 billion ecommerce market that grows 25% per year: that will be Latin America in 2023. With populations and economies recovering well from the pandemic, Latin America’s leading markets – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Peru, in this order – all present rising ecommerce volumes, even if each country is in its own phase of online sales development.

While LATAM’s giants are key to reaching wide success and awareness in the region, its smallest markets are just waiting for companies to boost their international businesses and supply the unattended demands.

Making the most of the region’s opportunities takes a deep understanding of the region, its challenges, changes, and possibilities. Especially after the pandemic, which accelerated digitisation and banking penetration even more, advances are quick and profound.

With that in mind, and based on PagSeguro’s white paper Digital Renaissance in Latin America, I'll present four of the most significant trends for 2023 so you can prepare yourself, better navigate through Latin America’s exciting markets, and boost your business in this fast-rising region.

1. Instant payments are what consumers want

In the biggest LATAM market, Brazil, the most important payment method is easy to pinpoint: Pix. Going much further from its initial success and being a disruptive payment option for in-store and online sales, it shows stable and continuous growth.

The number one payment method for online sales in Brazil is domestic credit cards: with a 43% share in 2022, it is expected to fall to 40% in 2023. Meanwhile, Pix will represent 25% in 2023, and rise to 31% by 2025 – the only payment method that grows its presence in online sales, besides Buy Now, Pay Later (2% in 2022 and 3% in 2023).

Even if the instant payment revolution is more advanced in Brazil than in other LATAM countries, the region’s markets are still shifting toward faster and frictionless solutions.

In Colombia, with low credit card penetration – only 16% of the adult population has one –, local alternative payment methods steal the scene: Botón PSE, whose payments are cleared immediately, represents 40% of all ecommerce in the country.

Meanwhile, in Chile, bank transfers are growing at the same pace as card penetration: with 82% of the adult population having a bank account, bank transfers are expected to go from 7% in 2021 to 13% in 2023 – and reach 21% by 2025.

2. Markets adjusted to the ‘new normal’

The ecommerce market is growing in all of the six main markets of Latin America, even in the ones with low ecommerce penetration before the pandemic. Many of them still have a lot of room for growth – not only for online sales, but also for alternative and/or domestic payment options.

That is the case in Peru, the sixth biggest market of LATAM, where the share of cash payments in online purchases is the highest in the region. However, e-wallets and debit cards grew during the pandemic, and in 2023 they are expected to account for, respectively, 12% and 30% of all online sales in the country.

The ecommerce segments themselves have officially entered the ‘new normal’, with digital goods and online retail now present in the daily lives of a much higher number of people, and travel back on track. Across all segments, cross-border sales also recover – and actually rise even faster than domestic ecommerce, increasing the opportunity for international merchants that look forward to achieving success in the market but fear the complexity of local incorporation.

3. BNPL’s slow but steady rise

As consumers mature as e-shoppers, they also seek better payment options, from checkout experience to financial benefits – leading to Buy Now, Pay Later. As my colleague Carol Ann Korpi explained in her article here at The Paypers, BNPL has not gained that much space in all Latin American countries but does have a growing penetration in its two largest markets, also growing in Peru, Chile, and Colombia.

In Brazil and Mexico, BNPL will represent 3% of all ecommerce in 2023, in sync with the worldwide average. Since paying in installments with credit cards is a common practice in LATAM, the rise of BNPL alongside that shows us how open consumers are to new ways of paying, especially those bringing more affordable ways to fulfill their consumption demands.

It’s important to highlight the economic and cultural relevance of BNPL and why it is finding its space among Latin Americans. One of the many approaches to the topic may be that LATAM’s income per capita, combined with a low level of financial planning, leads to high leverage in family expenditure. Regardless of the theory, in practice, Latin American e-shoppers tend to use payment options that enable them to fulfill their demand levels even with tight budgets, such as Buy Now, Pay Later and credit card installments – especially for high average ticket purchases.

4. Open Banking and data security

As Open Banking becomes more established in Brazil, local banks rush to offer the best services and products for their clients – and how Open Banking does in LATAM’s #1 market should set the pace for the rest of the region to follow.

Amidst the expansion of Open Banking and the phenomenal rise of ecommerce and digital payments, data security becomes an ever more urgent matter for companies and users alike. This is especially true in Latin America, a region with historically high fraud. Thus, counting on solutions and partners with solid anti-risk features (which include understanding LATAM) is fundamental when selling to the area.

With the information provided here and in our study mentioned earlier, I hope you’ll be able to make better, more successful decisions for your LATAM strategies – tailored to the region’s challenges, with gaps waiting to be filled by bold companies and their key local payment partner.


About Ézio Pontes

Ézio Pontes is Head of Operations for international businesses at PagSeguro. With a bachelor’s degree in Economic Sciences and a postgraduate in Finance Management, Ézio Pontes has vast experience in the digital payments and finances segments, focusing on systems and compliance.



About PagSeguro

PagSeguro (NYSE: PAGS) provides innovative payment solutions, automating payments, sales, and wire transfers to boost businesses anywhere, in a simple and secure way. Part of the UOL Group – the leader in Brazilian internet –, PagSeguro acts as an issuer, an acquirer, and a provider of digital accounts, besides offering complete solutions for online and in-person payments. The company also has the most complete payment methods coverage in Brazil and 16 other Latin American countries, besides Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Romania, allowing merchants worldwide to process and collect more than 140 local payment methods and local currencies. It also provides instant single or mass cross-border payouts to Brazil.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: instant payments, BNPL, Open Banking, ecommerce, payment methods
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: PagSeguro
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


Discover all the Company news on PagSeguro and other articles related to PagSeguro in The Paypers News, Reports, and insights on the payments and fintech industry:

Industry Events