Pix drives payment transactions, which grow 40% in 2021

The amount of payment transactions — with the exception of cash — grew by 40% in 2021 compared to 2020, to 58.8 billion transactions. The data is from the Central Bank (BC), which attributes the strong growth to Pix’s success.

The advance was 27% in financial volume, to BRL 76.9 trillion — equivalent to 9 times the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The data are from the publication “Statistics of Retail Payments and Cards in Brazil”, released on Tuesday (22) by BC.

“The growth in the total number of transactions (excluding those in cash) observed in 2021, compared to the previous year, was mainly due to the accelerated adoption of the use of Pix by society, as a new alternative for making payments”, said the Central Bank in note.

The monetary authority also highlighted the expansion of the card market: 34% credit, 18% debit and 213% prepaid. There was growth — slight — in the use of direct debit (9%) and boleto (9%) and a reduction in the use of checks and interbank and intrabank transfers.

Pix passes the card

Pix surpassed credit and debit card in the fourth quarter of 2021 in number of operations – and has not stopped growing, reaching 5.469 billion transactions at the end of the second quarter of this year. The cards were relatively stable until the end of June, according to BC.

The BC’s payment system also stood out in the number of transactions by type of payment instrument, reaching a level of 16% of these transactions in 2021.

It grew at the expense of other means of payment, such as boleto (whose share fell from 13% to 10%) and direct debit (which decreased from 15% to 11%). Card transactions accounted for 51% of payments in 2021, a slight decrease of 2 percentage points compared to 2020.

Value per transaction

TED (Available Electronic Transfer) was the payment instrument with the highest average value per transaction in 2021 (BRL 27,855), followed by intrabank transfer (BRL 14,767) — which shows that these have been the payment methods for operations bulkier, according to BC. The average value of boleto transactions was R$ 1,322, against “only” R$ 548 for Pix and R$ 86 for the card.

Prepaid card

The BC points out that there was significant growth in the prepaid card, with the share growing from 6% in 2020 to 13% in 2021, mainly due to fintechs (payment institutions).

“The prepaid card is a relevant inducer of financial inclusion that, along with other payment instruments, has been promoting access to digitized payments and electronic commerce transactions. It is mainly offered by payment institutions (fintechs)”, says the document.

Mobile scanning

The cell phone was the main channel for transactions and statements and balance queries, in terms of quantity, in 2021 (68% of the total). Considering only payment operations, cell phones were responsible for 60% of transactions — those carried out at branches, service points and ATMs represented just 8% of the total.

In the same direction, of greater digitalization, the percentage of non-face-to-face credit card transactions rose from 27.2% at the end of 2020 to 29.2% at the end of 2021.

bank fees

As for the Interchange Fees (TIC) practiced in the card market, all have shown relative stability in recent years. The prepaid TIC was 1.25% at the end of 2021, against 0.54% for debit and 1.61% for credit.

In a recently edited resolution, the BC established a limit of 0.7% for ICT on prepaid cards and 0.5% on debit cards.

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