Pix reaches 3 billion monthly transactions in Brazil

More than two years after its launch, Brazil’s instant payment system Pix continues to break new records. This time, the number of monthly transactions.

According to data from the central bank, Pix achieved the milestone of 3 billion monthly transactions in March. That is up from a previous record of 2.8 billion by the end of last year. The threshold is the latest illustration of how Pix continues to evolve in Brazil, even as most of the population already uses the network for daily transactions.

According to a study released by the central bank, Brazil ranked second in the world in the number of instant payment transactions in 2022. That is behind India.

The growth of the payment method has no clear end in sight. Especially as the regulator continues to roll out new features. Exponential rates of adoption have indeed decelerated from the earlier months. But the number keeps growing steadily every month, as per official figures. Almost 140 million users in Brazil now have already used the technology.

Monthly volume for Pix now over $250 billion

The volume of transactions is also growing. Even though Pix is recurringly used for smaller-sized transactions, many experts argue it has the potential to replace other mechanisms for larger transfers.

Late last year, central bank officials celebrated when Pix achieved 1 trillion Brazilian reais in monthly transactions. Last month, volume hit 1.3 trillion, or nearly $260 billion. That is also the highest monthly amount since its launch. It represents a new spike following a two-month decline during the first two months of 2023.

Introduced by the central bank in late 2020, the innovation is part of a broader agenda to modernize the Brazilian financial system. Also, to foster competition.

“The Brazilian financial market is going through an intense moment of evolution of its infrastructure,” Bruno Diniz, a fintech book author in Brazil, said. “The introduction of Pix and Open Finance has already brought about major changes, and the forecast is that another major turning point will happen with the launch of Real Digital – giving a strong boost towards the tokenized economy.”

Roberto Campos Neto headshot
Roberto Campos Neto, president of the Central Bank of Brazil.

New features on the radar

Even though Pix has been widely embraced by all age segments, the youngest in Brazil are the leading adopters of the technology. According to regulator data, users aged 20 to 39 make up almost two-thirds of Pix adopters.

A critical distinction between Pix and other similar initiatives in the region, such as Mexico’s CoDi, is that the Brazilian version was embraced by almost every institution. Most recent data shows over 800 firms have signed up to operate with the system. These include banks, fintechs, and state-run institutions.

The central bank is expected to release new features in the next few months. Initiatives like Pix Garantido, which could make Pix a rival to credit cards, are on the radar. Other initiatives include Pix Automatico, which works similarly to direct debit, facilitating recurring payments such as public services, subscription services, and school or gym fees.

  • 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.