The Crypto Conquest of Latin America Is Made By Consumers Themselves

    51% of consumers in Latin America have already carried out an operation with crypto assets

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    The digital payment revolution that began during the pandemic is consolidating in Latin America and driving interest in cryptocurrencies. 51% of consumers in the region have already carried out an operation with crypto assets and more than one-third claims to have made a payment for an everyday purchase with digital coins, reveals the New Payments Index 2022, a survey conducted between March and April of this year among more than 35,000 people around the world.

    New Payments Index annually assesses consumer behavior towards emerging payment methods. In its second edition, the study shows that financial innovation – cryptocurrencies, DeFI solutions, blockchain, NFTs – registers significant activity in the region, with consumers eager to learn more about this ecosystem.

    In addition, this edition included the trends of Costa Ricans in the use of payment technologies cryptocurrenciess with contactless debit and credit cards (50%), use of digital cards (39%), and payment with wearable technology, such as example smart watches (36%), among others.

    These are some of the emerging payment trends among consumers in Costa Rica. At least 67% of users increased their use of an emerging digital payment method in the last year. Likewise, according to the results of Costa Rica, it is shown that 45% of Costa Ricans have already used cryptocurrencies.

    Another fact that the study highlights is that at least 10% of the Costa Ricans surveyed have used biometric technologies to make payments, such as fingerprints, facial scanning, among others. For them, biometric payments inspire more confidence because they have a perception of security and comfort.

    Optimistic about the performance of digital assets

    More and more Latin Americans show interest in cryptocurrencies and want solutions that facilitate access to the crypto world, expanding digital inclusion and strengthening alliances that guarantee operability and support.

    54% of Latino consumers are optimistic about the performance of digital assets as an investment. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Latinos want more flexibility to use crypto and traditional payment methods interchangeably in their day-to-day operations.

    The survey shows that consumers in the region would feel more secure investing (69%) and making/receiving payments (67%) in cryptocurrencies if they were issued or backed by a trusted organization. Another 82% say they would like crypto-related features directly from their current financial institution.

    Digital payments, comfort and flexibility

    While 77% of Americans and 74% of Europeans prefer traditional payment methods to newer ones, Latinos are willing to use emerging methods such as biometrics, digital currencies and QR codes, in addition to contactless payments.

    The future of payments is already here

    More and more Latin Americans are turning to technology to carry out their financial operations and this trend is expected to continue to rise, as an overwhelming 95% plan to use a digital payment method in the coming year and 29% acknowledge having used less cash last year.

    Consumers in the region are familiar with fintechs and open banking, which allows them to conveniently manage their personal finances. Almost 50% of Latin American consumers already use digital channels to carry out 5 financial activities and 78% of them are interested in flexible payment solutions that allow them, for example, to change the date of payment of their bills, especially those with income irregulars and millennials.

    Biometric payments: security and comfort

    When deciding which payment method to use, Latinos prioritize security (54%), but also look for the speed that financial technology offers. Biometrics breaks through as option to find that balance between comfort and safety. Three out of four Latinos say that “using biometric technologies for identity and payments is more secure than a PIN, password or other form of identification,” but some concern remains about which entities have access to their data.

    People under 40 and millennials are more likely to perceive emerging digital solutions as safe. Although they still use them, people who grew up operating in traditional banking show more suspicion, which constitutes -for all agents in the payment chain- an opportunity to build trust.
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