Pix, digital payments to grow in Brazil in 2023, study says

Pix, the low-cost instant payments system implemented in late 2020, is now firmly established as the preferred means for Brazilians to settle transactions, a study by Fiserv found.

In a survey with 600 consumers, 86% of those consulted said they now use Pix regularly. This is higher than any other payment method, including credit cards and cash, with 74% and 64% use rates, respectively.  

The 24/7 payment system was introduced by the Central Bank two years ago. As of the latest data, it saw massive adoption from an early start, growing consistently every month to over 110 million individual users. Transactions, including businesses, now amount to roughly $200 billion a month.

In the survey, 36% of Brazilians said Pix was its primary system to settle transactions and the preferred alternative. This was followed by 23% who said credit cards were their method of choice and 16% for debit cards.

A win over cash

The preference for Pix also marked a significant tilt over cash, which only 13% of consumers said was the best alternative in the payments market. The innovation from the Central Bank has been decisive in bringing more Brazilians into the financial system.

According to Fiserv, the preference for Pix grew from 21% in the previous study in July 2021, revealing that Brazilians are now much more used to the technology. The study found that safety and speed of use are among the main factors Brazilians look for in a payment method.

Fiserv released “Payment Trends for 2023” in Brazil, a survey highlighting consumer purchasing habits and future expectations. The findings indicate the growing use of modern payment methods such as Pix, digital wallets, QR codes, and online shopping.

“Means of payment in Brazil, which have always been so evolved and avant-garde, are still being shaped by new concepts and opportunities that are emerging in the country as new modalities of Pix, the maturation of e-commerce, payment via social networks, cryptocurrencies and the explosion of digital wallets,” Jorge Valdivia, Country Manager at Fiserv in Brazil.

Pix ‘more convenient’

Jorge Valdivia, Country Manager at Fiserv in Brazil.
Jorge Valdivia, Country Manager at Fiserv in Brazil.

When asked about Pix’s benefits, 43% of consumers said they chose it because it is convenient, while 28% said it allows them to carry less cash around.

From now on, the evolution of Pix seems to be firmly grounded in Brazilians’ expectations. More than 9 of 10 Brazilians said they intended to use Pix in the future over any other payment method.

Brazilians said they were also open to trying out emerging technologies. 44% said they would consider paying with cryptocurrencies in the future, while a similar share (42%) showed an intention to make payments through Whatsapp. The Meta business unit is reportedly working with Mercado Libre to establish payment capabilities through the chat.

According to company data, Fiserv processed more than 52 million transactions in Brazilian e-commerce in the past year, representing a total volume of $939 million.

  • David Feliba

    David is a Latin American journalist. He reports regularly on the region for global news organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Americas Quarterly.

    He has worked for S&P Global Market Intelligence as a LatAm financial reporter and has built expertise on fintech and market trends in the region.

    He lives in Buenos Aires.