More than one in three in-person payments in Latin America and the Caribbean are now contactless

More than a third of in-person payments made using Visa credentials across Latin America and the Caribbean in December 2021 were contactless (“close to 35%”), a two-fold increase on the same period in 2020, according to Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA).

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VCA’s figures also show that the proportion of contactless in-person transactions exceeded 50% in eight countries: Chile (more than 84%), Costa Rica and Guatemala (more than 70%), Panama and Bermuda (60-70%), and Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua and El Salvador (more than 50%).

Brazil — where transactions grew seven-fold compared with 2020 — recorded the fastest growth rate in contactless transactions, followed by Argentina and Colombia (more than 200%) and Peru, Chile and Guatemala (100-200%), according to VCA.

“The adoption of contactless payments in Chile and Costa Rica has been massive and has seen marked growth since 2020, which continued in 2021, even when compared with the adoption of the same technology in Europe,” VCA says.

“One of the most important factors that makes Chile a model for digital payments in Latin America is its rate of banked consumers with access to this technology, which exceeds 73%.”

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